April 8, 2016

Liberals attempt to pay off families with children over 5 to shorten waiting list

KITCHENER – The Liberal Government’s decision to remove Autistic children over 5 on the waiting list for Intensive Behavioral Intervention (IBI) therapy, and provide a one-time payment instead, means families waiting on the list for years face new questions on available treatments.

“This is the Liberal way to ‘shorten’ the waitlist. These families were given hope for this necessary support and the Wynne Government has shattered that hope,” Harris stated. “After years of waiting for IBI treatment for their child, to have been pulled off the waitlist is devastating and extremely frustrating for these families.”

For those kicked off of the IBI waiting lists, private treatment is estimated to cost approximately $50,000 a year. The Liberal Government is only providing families with children 5 years and older on the waiting list a one-time payment of $8,000 to cover any costs of transitioning off the waiting list.  After years of paperwork, assessments and waitlists, many families feel they have nowhere to turn.

While the Government has terminated IBI treatment for those five and above, they haven’t announced any strategy for the affected children. The fact remains that children over five still have special needs the province must address, and the waitlist for a less-intensive form of therapy, ABA (Applied Behavioural Analysis), is approximately 14,000 children.

“With far too many families and their children with autism waiting for the support they need, we sincerely hope no children that need help fall through the cracks, or fall victim to Liberal mismanagement,” Harris noted. “Unfortunately, life continues to get harder under the Liberal Government, especially now for those families who are affected with Autism.”