Liberal government refuses to restore autism cuts in front of affected families
(May 5, 2016) Today, hundreds of concerned Ontarians will gather together on the lawns of Queen's Park to protest the Liberal Government's cuts to autism therapy for children.
The Ontario PC Caucus used the opportunity to share stories from affected families in the Legislature during Question Period, repeating their calls for the Liberal Government to reverse its decision and allow children over the age of five to access IBI (Intensive Behavioural Intervention) therapy. In total, 12 different members shared a story from their constituency.
"I've told the story of seven year old Joshua and his family from Oakville. You've heard about seven year old Warren from Bailieboro. But you have taken no action to help them," said Leader of the Official Opposition Patrick Brown, as affected families watched from the galleries. "There is four year old Lila from Etobicoke, seven year old Wesley from Grimsby, and four year old Adam from Mississauga."
As of May 1st, the Liberal Government has terminated IBI treatment for those five and above, despite IBI being considered an effective and life-changing treatment for many. By the Ministry of Children and Youth Services' own numbers, approximately 85 per cent of children who receive IBI therapy are over the age cut-off.
"You have turned your back on all of those young children. IBI is effective after the age of 5. Autism doesn't end at five," added Brown. "Why can't all of these children receive the IBI treatment they were promised? Why can't they receive the IBI treatment they deserve?"