Age: 15
Provincial Riding: Wellington - Halton Hills
My 15 year old son has been waiting for his next round of therapy from Kerry's Autism Services since before the conservatives took office. He is high-functioning (mild to moderate autism) but has benefited greatly in the past by friendship skills group or communication skills. I understand that there are kids on the waiting list but to take away from those that are already getting services to give to those that aren't getting any doesn't make any sense to me. I understand the concept of take from the "rich" to give to the "poor" - but to take from the disadvantaged to give to the disadvantaged just doesn't make sense. Plus the level of care that the people on the waitlist are going to get would never be able to match to what they need with that limited budget. Plus the $12,000 they are giving to schools for "new" students - does not help the schools with kids that are currently in therapy 4 days a week - and now will be in school full time. It's crazy!! I know some of these kids and there is no way the schools can support them full time. I know some of the EA's that work with these kids - the resources are already stretched thin with the higher functioning kids - cannot imagine them having to deal with the more challenging behaviours all of the time - without proper funding! I am glad that Curtis has come a long way - and is almost out of service age anyway. The only thing that will be impacting us - not including not getting therapy from Kerry's Place anymore - is the minimal funding we currently get from SSAH - about $2200/year - currently pays for his various social programs - so that will come out of pocket for us now. He has been on the waitlist for his next round of group therapy for almost 2 years - so from what I can tell - he won't get any services at all anymore. It's a shame as everyone who knows him can clearly see how far he's come through the various friendship and communication programs he has participated in. We will likely go private and pay out of pocket - will be difficult with having a daughter off to university in the fall - guess the government doesn't care if we cannot afford to provide services privately or not - they aren't really giving us a choice. Yes we are in the higher part of the income bracket for the cutoff of services - so likely we will not receive anything come April 1st - we will not be hit as hard as other families - my heart still breaks for these kids. They deserve better - they deserve more - they deserve a fair chance - they deserve proper funding. Do the right thing and change the program back - better yet - expand it to include all kids.

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