My child Oliver is the sweetest, funniest and cutest kid going. He has the biggest heart and is so wonderful and playful with friends. He is smart, he loves to build with LEGO and is very good at it. He is also surprising skilled at puzzles and catching similarities for a 5 year old.
I am not a stranger to Ms. MacLeod or Ms. Fee, I met both of them at a round table in Cambridge on December 15, 2018, where Ms. MacLeod sat there and promised to myself and 7 other families that she “would help our children get the help they needed”, while we all had tears in our eyes.
I have been advocating for my son since he was 18 months old when we first had an inclination that there was something “wrong”. He lost all words he had learned and fell silent. He was happy and continued to develop in many other ways normally but he did talk. When we received our diagnosis of level 3 ASD in November 2016, it was not a surprise but, still hard to hear when my husband and I both knew, it was going to be a long hard, up hill road from there.
It was decided that I wouldn’t go back to work so that I could work and help Oliver full time. I made sure that I got all the appointments and were on all the wait lists. Made sure he had social time and started ABA therapy right away. I was on it! I wanted the best for my son so that he can flourish like the amazing flower he is.
However, after advocating and working so hard for so long, in February when Lisa MacLeod made her announcement on the new OAP, my heart stopped. I sat stunned, confused and devastated after listening to the new plan. I have cried every day since.
Our family, who has worked so hard to become a comfortable middle class household will now be pushed to the poverty line to be able to afford 21 hours of ABA therapy and 2 hours of speech therapy a week, out of pocket because we will only receive approximately $2800 a year from our government.
My son, who has so much promise, deserves the brightest and best future, and this government has fallen incredibly and incomprehensibly short.