Premier Should Listen to Growing Movement and Stop Kicking Children Out of Autism Services: NDP

QUEEN'S PARK –Today NDP children services critic, Monique Taylor (MPP, Hamilton Mountain), demanded Premier Wynne listen to parents and families who attended Question Period this morning, and an increasing number of Ontarians, calling on her to stop her plans to remove children from essential autism therapy.

“We know that every child matters, and that all children regardless of age, should have access to services that we know that they need to thrive,” Taylor said. “Will the Premier listen to a coalition of voices coming out against her plan to remove children over the age of five from IBI therapy and the waiting list?”

Parents of children with autism were at Queen’s Park again today, for the fourth time in recent months, demanding the Wynne government listen to their concerns. The Premier continues to say that no child is being removed from service and that every child will move into immediate service. “I just want to be clear: Just because you say something over and over again, that doesn’t make it true. We’ve seen the discharge letters,” Taylor said. “She can call it whatever she likes, but her government made a mess of this plan and parents are here to tell it to you again.

Internal documents reveal that almost 80 per cent of the Liberals’ so-called “historic” investment won’t even happen until after the next election.

“The sham of this government’s new autism program is that it promises more money, but actually delays investment while forcing thousands of families to sacrifice their children’s futures,” Taylor said. “This government is actually taking away service from children over the age of five, while having no plans to make substantial investments until after 2018.”

A growing number of Ontarians are calling on Premier Wynne to reverse her decision to take away IBI therapy for children who have been on a wait list for the essential autism treatment. They include parents, families, autism specialists, educators, school boards, the Ontario Children’s Advocate, and municipalities.

“It’s not just the opposition begging you to listen, it’s a broad coalition of voices simply asking you to put children first. Please, Premier, please do the right thing. Please make the decision to grandfather these kids. Give them the service that they so desperately need.”