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(Canada) PEI: Toddlers wait YEARS for autism assessment/treatment

June 29, 2020,CBC: Wait times for autism therapy program 'unacceptable and devastating,' says Green MLA Prince Edward Island Some P.E.I. children with autism who need a specialized therapy program have been waiting so long to receive treatment that they're entering the school system without receiving that therapy…. As soon as Emily Savoie's four-year-old son Ben was diagnosed with autism, she wanted to make sure he was in the program before he made the transition to school…. Ongoing wait-lists But what followed was waiting, from diagnosis, to assessments, to Ben finally being scheduled to get IBI. Savoie applied to have her son take part last year but the process, partly because of COVID-19, had been delayed for so long that Ben isn't scheduled to receive his therapy until July, just a few months before the start of the school year. Savoie says her family has decided to hold Ben from school for a year so he has enough time in the IBI program. … "It is fundamentally important to have these wait-lists abolished," Savoie said…. Like Savoie's family, the process to even access the program is lengthy, including getting an autism diagnosis, a psychological assessment and hearing assessment, with some families having "spent their child's entire toddler life waiting," Bernard said. "One man I spoke to on the phone who was so utterly desperate for respite care, when I heard the story of what his family was living through, I was almost in tears," she said….. Trivers later told CBC that "wait times have been an issue for a number of years," because of two main factors: a shortage of people to do assessments and a lack of autism tutors to provide IBI….


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