Ottawa parents protest provincial changes to autism treatment funding
Ontario Autism Program leaving older children behind, parents say
Dozens of parents of children with autism protested outside the Ottawa office of MPP Yasir Naqvi Friday, angry at the provincial government's decision to refocus its treatment funding on children ages two to four.
But he's about to turn five, and under the new Ontario Autism Program, that means he will no longer be eligible.
"We got a notice last week that he would be removed from the list and we're pretty disappointed, scared, and upset," said MacDonald.
New provincial funding for autism
In the March provincial budget, the Liberal government announced it will provide $333 million in autism funding over the next five years. That money will go chiefly towards IBI for children between the ages of two and four.
But another parent at the rally, Tanya Corey, says that money won't even cover two months of therapy for her son.
Still, Ontario's Minister of Children and Youth Services, Tracy MacCharles, believes these new efforts will reduce wait times. "But more importantly, we want to get the right service for children in the best developmental window," she said.
The new program goes into effect May 1.