This is my amazing daughter Pepper. She is one of five children in our family and was diagnosed with severe ASD when she was 2 yrs old. Pepper was on the waitlist for IBI for 2 years and finally got a spot in September 2018. Two years was a long wait but we’d rather wait for her to receive support than to not get any at all. She has proven to be a good candidate for IBI and has been thriving. Pepper is non verbal but has been making improvements in her communication since starting IBI. She now knows her siblings names (although still doesn’t use them to commicate).
We were absolutely devastated by the announcement of the new OAP. Although we feel fortunate that Pepper received some therapy, it’s not enough. And to think that other children, similar to my daughter, will only get a fraction of their needs met based on age and income is wrong.
Pepper also has an older brother with ASD diagnosis. He is high functioning and has not required significant support thus far. It’s not feasible to not consider need when determining support for a spectrum disorder.
Based on our family size and only one working parent at the moment (due to my daughters high needs) we will not be able to supplement her support beyond what will be allocated through the new childhood budget. I feel that I have no other choice but to return to school to become her therapist (if there will still be a program to attend after these cuts).
I am begging, listen to parents and stakeholders and get back to the table and consider other solutions for our children’s sake.