Charlotte Monaghan

Age: 3
Provincial Riding: Nepean
Charlotte, age 3 was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder and a developmental delay at 22 months. Her older brother Jack has severe ASD, so we recognized some tell-tale symptoms when Charlotte was around 16 months old. Once diagnosed in July 2017, she immediately began a small amount of ABA therapy, Speech Therapy and Occupational Therapy. Our family could not afford much, as we were already paying $4K for her older brother’s therapy. Charlotte participated in the QuickStart Early Intervention program in Ottawa, and soon after was able to increase her hours as a dear family member recognized our great need and remortgaged her home to help us. Charlotte has been enjoying the benefit of 15 hrs/wk of ABA therapy since February 2018. She has thrived. She was non-verbal when she started, and now can communicate her needs. She recognizes feelings. She’s made friends. Where once she ‘played’ alone by repeatedly moving objects around in patterns and loops, she now enjoys pretend play, turn taking and sharing her joy with others. But she has much work to do. She still fears and resists change, has trouble communicating, has yet to toilet train and partakes in aggressive and self-injurious behaviours. At surface level, one may not notice her autism, and it is that that we fear as she prepares to enter Kindergarten this fall. Charlotte has waited 21 months for service, and will now never see the benefit of full time therapy as her brother had. We no longer have the resources to fund Charlotte’s therapy, so it will need to stop. Her brother’s needs are greater. The Ford Government, and Minister Lisa MacLeod have forced us to choose between our children, and Charlotte will miss out. It was never about the wait. It was about the access to Intensive Therapy and the Ford government will erradicate effective therapy in this province come April 1. This is not what we waited for; this bait and switch has left us in unsupported, devoid of all hope and in crisis. What this government is doing is shameful and communicates that Children with ASD are not worth investing in. My children are worth investing in. Children with ASD are worth investing in. All children are worth investing in. We 1000% believe that this government should be embarrassed by the disaster they have created, need to swallow their pride and listen to the PEOPLE who are desperately begging for help. For the sake of Charlotte, her brother Jack and all others: Pause the Plan.

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