NDP Calls Out Wynne Government for Ignoring Letter From Experts Denouncing Autism Changes

QUEEN'S PARK – Monique Taylor, the NDP’s Children and Youth Services Critic, made the following statement in the legislature today regarding treatment for children with autism.

“When the government announced changes to the Autism program last spring, families all across Ontario were thrown into turmoil.

The Liberal government insisted that the changes were based on scientific research.

Families were forced to fight tirelessly to get this government to understand that their actions were wrong headed and not backed up by the facts.

Today we learned that the government’s own expert committee wrote to the Minister just three weeks after the changes were announced to denounce those changes.

They said the government’s plan ‘is not in keeping with the report recommendations as a whole’.

They made it clear that there should not be an age cut-off for IBI therapy.

They warned that many children will fail to progress or even lose previously acquired skills.

This government forced vulnerable children and families to fight to prove what the expert panel had already told them. That is just wrong!

Changes have been made but confusion remains and families of children over 5 are still being told they are not eligible for IBI.

We still have a long way to go to ensure that children with autism get the therapy they need, when they need it.

I implore the new minister to listen to families and listen to the experts.

Families should not have to fight at every turn to get the treatment their children need and deserve so they can thrive.”