Nov 18, 2018, CBC: 'Staffing crisis' leads to delays in accessing early intervention for children with autism https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/nova-scotia/autism-spectrum-disorder-eibi-health-children-education-1.4910750 Autism Nova Scotia hopes panel to discuss continuous services can be reconvened Melissa Reuther and her son, Kingston, are shown in their Glace Bay home. Kingston is one of 175 children in the province with autism spectrum disorder waiting for access to an early intervention program. (CBC) Melissa Reuther is tired. You can hear it in her voice. There's nothing unique about Reuther's situation. In fact, it's the commonness of things that's partly so frustrating for the Glace Bay, N.S., resident as she and her family wait to get help for four-year-old Kingston, who has autism spectrum disorder. … By his second birthday, in 2016, Kingston was diagnosed and referred to the provincial Early Intensive Behavioural Intervention program, or EIBI. Like many before her, Reuther was told to wait for a call, and that it could be a while. It's been two years and counting. EIBI is a six-month intensive program for children diagnosed with autism before they start school, pairing them with direct-care staff, a clinical supervisor and a speech-language pathologist — all with a focus on developing social communication skills. Because of the wait list, and because age six is the cutoff, the oldest preschool-age children are prioritized. … Staff shortages and waiting lists But staff shortages aren't limited to Cape Breton. Across the province there are 10.2 permanent full-time equivalent direct care staff vacancies…. As of the end of September, there were 175 children waiting and eligible for EIBI, according to the Health Department. Of that group, 101 were born in 2014, making them eligible to start school in September 2019. … A Health Department spokesperson said in a statement that significant investments have been made so all preschool-age children with autism can get EIBI before beginning school at age six. "The province spends $14 million annually so that approximately 180 children with autism spectrum disorder will be able to receive treatment each year," Tracy Barron said in an email. …
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Children today are noticeably different from previous generations, and the proof is in the news coverage we see every day. This site shows you what’s happening in schools around the world. Children are increasingly disabled and chronically ill, and the education system has to accommodate them. Things we've long associated with autism, like sensory issues, repetitive behaviors, anxiety and lack of social skills, are now problems affecting mainstream students. Blame is predictably placed on bad parenting (otherwise known as trauma from home).
Addressing mental health needs is as important as academics for modern educators. This is an unrecognized disaster. The stories here are about children who can’t learn or behave like children have always been expected to. What childhood has become is a chilling portent for the future of mankind.
Anne Dachel, Media editor, Age of Autism
(John Dachel, Tech. assist.)
What will happen in another 4 years? How can we go on like this? This is a national (and international) problem of monumental proportions. We have an entire new class of children who cannot be accommodated by the system: many are manifestly neurologically impaired. Meanwhile, the government and the medical profession sleep on regardless.
UK media editor, Age of Autism
The generation of American children born after 1990 are arguably the sickest generation in the history of our country.
Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.
It seemed to me that with rising autism prevalence, you’d also see rising autism costs to society, and it turns out, the costs are catastrophic.
They calculated that in 2015 autism cost the United States $268 billion and they projected that if autism continues at its current rate, we’re looking at one trillion dollars a year in autism costs by 2025, so within five years.
Toby Rogers, PhD, Political economist
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