Age: 4
Provincial Riding: Nickel Belt
Ny name is Diana Bedard and I have 3 children; a girl Emma, and twin boys, Gabriel and Xavier. When my boys were only 8 weeks old I fled an abusive relationship with their dad and started over. Soon my son Xavier became very ill with a rare condition called chronic neutrapenia, it left him a 'bubble boy' for his first few years therefore isolating the rest of us as well. Being a single mom with a sick baby there is only one option I had left, Ontario Works, as neutrapenia is not permanent I did not qualify for any other help.

As Xavier was growing out of his condition is when Gabriel received a diagnosis for SEVERE AND PROFOUND AUTISM, DEVELOPMENTALLY DELAYED & INTELLECTUALLY DISABLED. The devestation is indescribeable. I wept everytime I was alone for months but knowing he was now on the list for services I could never afford gave me some piece of mind.

Gabriel is non verbal, a runner (has already met our police because of it), has all 5 senses off & still at almost 5 wears diapers. He also has ZERO SENSE OF DANGER. He has a times some very severe behaviours, self injurious or aggressive, he is very destructive of the home, he screams constantly and does every classic autistic behaviour except rocking. Gabriel only sleeps 2-3 hours at a time and wakes up everybody else.

Gabriel has been on the list for services for almost 2 years!! Now under these changes he will NEVER GET THE HELP he needs. He started at school in September in a spec ed class with a 1:1 staff due to his extreme needs, it would be impossible to integrate him into a regular class. The disruption to the regular class would result in teacher failure and possibly somebody getting hurt.

Nothing in this world has brought more pure love, light and joy into my heart then Gabriel. Everywhere he goes people smile. He has the greatest potential to be an incredible functioning adult. Without this treatment, I fear greatly for his future. All my concerns were answered with I.B.I. will help with that. Now what am I to do? We are very low income, can barely make it now, there is no extra for therapy. The health treatments my son needs to function are being ripped away by the Ford/Conservative government. This I will not stand for! I will never stop! I have been fighting for him his whole life! I am RELENTLESS.

I know that Ford's conservatives recognize the devestation they're causing by discriminating against people with autism. I know they don't care. But we will not stop until they have to care. How will typical children learn in a classroom with untreated autistics? I will tell you, behaviour is contageous, and no learning can happen. Pathetic, inhumane, unCanadian and a total human rights violation. I will never ever stop. Nor should anybody else who calls themselves Canadian. #RELENTLESS

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