We’re the Staddon’s - a family a four from Sudbury. We have two children; June is 4 and Charles (Chaz) is 2. We love getting outdoors, visiting friends/family and paw patrol. Having two young children is a busy and stressful time for any family - and we welcome the chaos and joy. What adds to our stress is the lack of support we receive for the life changing therapy our children need. Both June and Chaz have autism. And both are severely affected.
We’ve never been called mom/dad or have been told “I love you”. Our kids don’t play with other children. Our children can’t handle regular group programs like gymnastics, swim lessons or ice skating. June and Chaz are far behind their peers on all aspects of development. Despite this our children are beautiful, have many strengths and see the world differently than we do.
What we want for our children is needs based Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA). This therapy, when done properly (by a professional and for the amount of hours the child needs), allows for a child with autism to connect with others. It allows them to be ready for school, learn life skills and to communicate.
Our children need 20-25 hours a week of this therapy for 2-3 years. This will cost 55-68 thousand dollars a year. Each.
The new OAP has yearly max payouts that will not allow for any moderate to severely impacted children meet their therapy needs. Our children included. We will need to pay tens of thousands of dollars a year to ensure they meet their potential.
Devastated is too weak a word to describe how we feel about these changes.
We urge you to advocate for change. A change that ensures that needs are met for each child with autism. A change that ensures parents of children with autism feel hopeful and supportive. Help us and the thousands of families in Ontario who are not supported.