Provincial NDP announce plans to advocate for increased autism support

In a news release, the NDP of Newfoundland and Labrador announced Sunday that they will continue to advocate for more services to be made available for those living with autism in the province.
Lorraine Michael, running in St. John’s East – Quidi Vidi, says that an NDP government would advocate for increased autism services. (CBC)

In a news release, the NDP of Newfoundland and Labrador announced Sunday that they will continue to advocate for more services to be made available for those living with autism in the province.

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They're concerned that diagnoses are taking too long, that the system privileges those who can afford treatment over those who can not, and that the government is not collecting enough information on how to address these issues

"In 2014 we presented a petition from parents to the House of Assembly concerning the long wait list for children to obtain an autism diagnosis," said MHA candidate for Signal Hill-Quidi Vidi Lorraine Michael.

"At the time, 400 children were on a 2-year wait list for a pediatrician to diagnose them."

Claims current system is two-tiered

Although another pediatrician was added by the government, the party still believes there is more work to be done.

They say that children, teachers and families dealing with autism need more support from the government.

"Right now, we have a two-tiered system: families with money or health insurance get help, others languish on waiting lists," the statement wrote.

If the government were to collect more data on autism, the party says that more could be done to make sure everyone with autism in the province gets treated properly.

If elected, the party says an NDP government would act immediately to ensure this data is collected.