My daughter Adyson was diagnosed as moderately autistic at the age of two years and eight months. She recieved approximately nine months of full time ABA therapy when she was three and a half years old.
Before the intensive therapy intervention, Addy had violent outbursts that include uncontrollable crying and self injurous behavior. She was completely non verbal and would become extremely frustrated when we couldn't identify her needs in a timely manner. She was not potty trained and had little to no communication skills.
During therapy we watched our little girl evolve from the shell she had been in. She began speaking, she potty trained in a matter of weeks and began seeking social interactions and joining in on pretend play activities. She was able to sit and complete a task for the time ever.
Sadly Addy learned very quickly and we were told she would need to begin school as she was exceeding the guidelines set under the funding being recieved. Kindergarten and Grade one went well. She is now in grade two and has been without therapy for almost three years.
She is struggling. She is in the classroom in the mornings as tolerated and she begins her afternoon in the library with her educational assistant where they remain for the remainder of the day. She isnt learning anything academically because the staff are not properly equipped to handle her behaviors as they do not have the proper ABA training to get past the behaviours and get her back to the table to complete her work.
We have waited on the OAP waitlist for over two years. We were counting on in school supports to help get Addy back into the classroom. This hope has been dashed with the recent OAP announcement.
$5000/yr will not pay for the sufficient therapy Addy needs to thrive. I believe that given the therapy she deserves and so desperately needs she will flourish and have a bright future. I believe that without it she will be dependent on us (her family) for the rest of her life. We need to invest in her future now so that she can become a functioning member of society and not become a drain on the system.
This new OAP does not work. Families are about to go into crisis. We can do better. I urge you to do better and do right by these families. Give them the chance at life that they deserve.
I am one of the 23,000 and I'd rather wait.