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***(Canada) Ontario: Teachers aren't trained to 'treat, teach or manage children with autism'

Mar 4, 2019,Toronto Star: Schools unprepared for influx of kids with autism, principals say Most school staff aren’t trained to “treat, teach or manage” children with autism — and boards aren’t ready for an influx of students in a few weeks’ time when changes to the autism program come into effect, warn Ontario principals.

A letter to Education Minister Lisa Thompson from three organizations representing administrators in English, Catholic and French schools says “principals across the province are receiving calls and emails from parents whose children currently attend school for a small portion of the week ... while spending the majority of their time in community-based or” intensive behavioural therapy.

“With the significant reduction in funding for these families, these children will no longer have access to that therapy. As such, parents have begun to advise principals that, as of April 1, their children will need to attend school on a full-time basis, for significantly longer than they currently do.”

Without additional funding, “schools will not be able to meet the additional and/or more intensive learning, safety and behavioural needs of these vulnerable students,” says the letter from the Ontario Principals’ Council and their French counterpart ADFO, as well as the Catholic Principals’ Council of Ontario.

Changes announced last month by the Ford government are intended to clear a 23,000-child wait list for autism services, spreading funding to more families for therapies and services of their choosing. …

As of April 1, families will be eligible for up to $20,000 a year for each child under 6, to a lifetime maximum of $140,000, to be used for the services of their choice. Children older than that can access up to $5,000 a year up to age 18, to a lifetime maximum of $55,000. …

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