Age: 6
Provincial Riding: Hamilton Centre
Ducky is a wonderful, gentle, and emotional child. He is full of energy and never stops bouncing around!
1 year ago- he was completely non-verbal, and completely non toilet trained.

Today? Today he asks for “dwink” and “open” and repeats many more words.
He repeats “I wuvvvyu” at bedtime. And he uses the toilet—-more often than not—-.

All of this, is thanks to intensive ABA therapy.

When we enrolled him for JK in 2017, we had our early intake meeting. At that meeting we were told he would receive 1:1, or 1:2 support. NO LESS.

When we arrived in September we discovered he had 1:4. One EA- to take care of 4!! Children with special needs. 3 of which did need extensive care.

After asking for every meeting we could, after calling higher and higher up and after being LAUGHED at by our superintendent when we explicitly stated he deserved more support. We pulled him out.

We went in there with two police reports stating he is a flight risk. Our 4 year old- squeezed through our gate and walked to the park on his own, with no shoes and pajama pants on. He crossed a busy MAJOR one way street to get there. Luckily a pedestrian saw him and called in before we even realized he was missing. We called in just 2 minutes after the police arrived and he was safe. Next time we may not be so lucky.

Even armed with those reports, as well as many many evaluations and signed reports from doctors and therapists- the school boards response was “until he runs FROM US, we can’t classify him as a flight risk.”

This needs to change! NOW! My child should not have to run out onto a busy road before you realize it’s a possibility!!!

Thankfully he had made it through the waitlist before we pulled him out of school and he has been so extremely loved and supported at the centre. The therapists, the family coordinators and the social workers have all helped us TREMENDOUSLY. They are always there if we need to call and ask for help. And they are always there rooting for ducky as he learns new things, every.single.day.

We went from a 3/4 year old who literally just cried allllll day and stayed awake crying all night- begging to be understood- to a 5-6 year old who looks at us, and smiles, and PLAYS! plays with toys, plays with OTHER PEOPLE. And shows affection and caring and love.

He isn’t there yet. With a proper transitional period- he could FLOURISH- but when his therapy ends on April 1st- there is no transition. It’s just over. I can’t explain that to him!

We have no credit, we have a single income in our home, we have no property to sell. So we have no options. He will now LANGUISH.

We have absolutely no trust in the public school system anymore, and now we have no trust in the minister whose job it is to protect us.
How can you call yourself a minister of children and social services while you watch our children LANGUISH under your changes?

My son is very afraid of dogs- a companion dog will do NOTHING.

My son is learning to SPEAK, without the CONTINUED therapy, that may regress. While communication supports are so very important for some children, that is not what my child needs. With an iPad and speech tool at hand- he will not continue to develop his speaking skills. He doesn’t need to communicate with an iPad- he needs therapy so he can learn to use his words!!

How can you help?

Sign the petition Email your MPP