Children in Niagara who have been diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) have one of the longest wait times to receive services in the entire province. I have met with parents, and service providers, on this issue and I’ve heard how difficult it is to wait, and wait, for services that will help your child. So I’ve been working to bring equal access to autism services to Niagara.
Sadly, on the eve of Autism Awareness Day, the provincial government announced that not only do Niagara children have the longest wait time in Ontario, they will likely never receive service under new rules that will see kids age out of the system at five years old.
I’ve written to Minister Tracy MacCharles about the inequalities faced by Niagara families and the cruelty of now yanking the rug out from under families who have played by the rules and waited years for service. You can read the letter below.
I’ve also created a petition calling on the government to add Niagara to the pilot projects recently announced for toddlers; to allow those children already on wait lists to be grandfathered in and be eligible to receive IBI therapy; and to address the inequalities in the system that created four-year wait times in Niagara.
Download the petition below. Petitions presented to the Ontario Legislative Assembly must be signed in ink (no copies or emails), so please print it, ask for signatures, then return it to my office so I can present it to the Legislative Assembly.
The petition can also be signed at our Beasmville office, 4961 King Street in Beamsville, unit M1 (above the No Frills Plaza).