Hi there! This is Edward, but we call him Eddie for short. Eddie is a sweet, smart, active and fun loving boy who loves to run, jump, laugh and play. What 3 year old doesn’t? Eddie is also diagnosed with autism, is non-verbal, and sensory processing disorder. We are one of the lucky few who got a diagnosis for him early enough, when he was around 2 1/2 years old. Right away we put him into speech and occupational therapy and was added to the wait list for ABA. Even though he still is non-verbal today, family and daycare providers noticed a big difference in his behaviour and attitude. He makes eye contact and is more in tune to the world around him when previously he would just sit in the corner in his little bubble and not interact with others. Therapy brought him out of his shell and I was thrilled to see my little boy playing with others and making friends as all little kids do. Well this year that felling of hope is no longer there... all of a sudden the therapies that helped my son get this far is now being taken away and his progress is threatened. Eddie is almost 4, meaning right now he is the best age for these therapies to make the most impact. Pushing back his progress is sure to slow down any hope of having him learn to speak or just be at the same level as his peers in school. We should have been close to the top of the waitlist for ABA but my calls weren’t returned and I now know why. This government in an attempt to inflate the numbers on the list had paused the program and made it so no one was to find out why. It is very possible that Eddie could have been seen this year for ABA along with his speech and occupational therapy and made enough progress to get him caught up with other his age. But they would rather cut the funding for these children and give the grant to horse racing instead. Because the future of Ontario’s children isn’t important to the politicians like Doug Ford and Lisa MacLeod.
At this very moment Eddie is fortunate to be in speech therapy but it will soon be over and I don’t know where I fall when it comes to funding after April 1st, 2019. I’ve had to consider getting a second job just to pay for my two boys to be in daycare full time but that will take away what little time I have with my boys, just so we can afford the much needed therapy in hopes of helping Eddie find his voice. We are currently in the process of teaching him PECS in order to communicate when he starts school this September. If he no longer is able to get that therapy, will the teachers be able to help him in school when you also have a hand in changing the classroom sizes, cutting the funding for schools to hire an adaquite amount of teachers and ECEs.
You see the backlash you are receiving from the thousands of upset parents, you can very easily sit down and come up with a better plan. But instead you double down and refuse to admit you where wrong and refuse to listen to those voices who cry out for compassion towards the children in need. Eddie is to young to understand what’s going on and doesnt have a voice to express his concerns, but that’s what I’m here for as his mother. I will stand up for my son, as well as all the children of Ontario diagnosed with ASD, for as long as it takes. We will have already overcome so much to get where we are today and we will not sit back and do nothing. You picked a fight with the wrong group of people.