My son Jad was diagnosed with ASD in October 2016 where he was 4 years old, and I remember how devastated I was when I received the diagnosis. I was unsure where to even begin from research to looking for support and services for my child. Jad struggled with every day interaction including speech, social play, safety, and certain sensory issues. When we were informed that we can immediately access support services including IBI and ABA therapy services, we were thrilled to be able to finally help our son. As the time went by, week after week, and month after month; our son had made a complete turn around with his behaviour, speech, eye contact, and reading and writing skills. We had access to full time IBI therapy at a private center, and everyone could just see the amazing progress Jad was making and could now put full sentences together. Thanks to IBI therapy, Jad is thriving and the effective services in place allowed him to reach full potential and enabled him to effectively communicate with his peers. Jad has made such tremendous progress in the past 2 years that he no longer requires 25 hours of IBI per week and now rotates between large a large classroom setting on most days with 7 hours of IBI per week. With the new OAP Program, Jad will lose all of these supports, from group therapy to IBI therapy since we do not have any insurance or any other coverage to pay for these services because they are extremely expensive. Because Jad is already 6 years old, he will only get 5000 dollars per year only which do not even come close to covering pay the services he tremendously needs.
I also have another son on the spectrum who is currently 4 years old and has been on the waitlist for over a year, and at this point I would rather keep him on the waitlist to wait for clinically proven method of therapy which is IBI: Intensive Behavioural Intervention as opposed to the limited funding option which cannot pay for IBI therapy. I really hope there is a turnaround if events and our ministry can see how important IBI and ABA therapies are to help children with special needs, especially children on the autism spectrum. It not only helps them with their literacy and numeracy skills, but it also helps develop their social skills to help them build healthy friendships throughout their lives. #WeAreThe100Percent