Autumn...my sweet sassy lovable girl, Autumn was diagnosed with ASD just shortly after her 3rd Birthday, after 7 months of assessments, Drs. Appointments & tests with lengthy waits in between, we immediately got her on the waiting list for ABA, flash forward to 2016, Liberals announce there will no longer be ABA funding available for children over 5...My world shatters into a million pieces...by the time we're off this list it'll be too late for her to gain the advantages of this evidence based therapy...crushed!..a short time later I'm introduced into the OAC family..."holy crap I'm not alone after all!" Far from it...Strength finds me, I'm introduced to the world of protesting, table meetings, writing letters...advocacy, fighting for my daughters future... relentlessly,..we prevail...woah.
Autumn started Therapy in 2017, at this time her way of communication was standing there..screaming, crying, pinching, she is four, & doesn't give us the time of day, can't build a block, still in diapers, cannot communicate, her frustration boiling over daily, I've never felt more helpless as a mother.
Flash forward to 2019, 2 years of working with the most amazing team, watching my girl make gains by leaps & bounds, watching her learn with such staggering determination & finally becoming her own little person with a confident BIG personality, there she is!... though still non verbal she communicates with us through PECS (Picture exchange cards) she is toilet trained, her receptive language is amazing, she LOVES all the attention she can get! All Because she was given the tools through IBI...her 30 hours a week of evidence based therapy..each of those needed hours spent giving this little girl the tools to be her own person, I find it hard even calling it therapy because she has such a total blast with each & every one of her girls on our amazing team, they laugh, they play, they giggle, they tickle, they cry happy tears for her when she makes gains, the thought of losing them now when she's at her strongest she's ever been breaks me inside. Its not only her, they give us as a family the tools to work with her, to help her grow & retain with each skill we work on.
Autumn is living proof ABA/IBI works, but NEEDS based amounts, she's gained the most amount of personality & skill over the last year...& guess what...she is 6, her capability & will to learn & grow did not slow or falter because she had a birthday...but grew, I pray every day to hear that little voice of hers & I think we are getting closer...she's only just begun & she needs her tools to keep doing so, the very therapy that has proven itself more than worthy so far, for Autumns & thousands of childrens journey into adulthood, their health, their independence their safety, their quality of life & their ability to give back to the community.
I want to live in a province I can be proud of, one that actually listens to the people & invests in the future people of tomorrow & the families of today.
We are the people, we are the 100% we are all deserving of what's needed to thrive.