Puzzling Drops in Autism Program Enrolments
The next provincial budget is coming, and one thing we do here is watch the numbers. Over the last couple of years we’ve been submitting FIPPA requests related to spending and enrollment in autism programs for children. Here’s a summary of what we have found out most recently:
We are asking some questions based on these numbers:
- Both Autism Outreach and ABA have increased budgets and fewer children served. Where is that money going, and where are the children? Why aren’t the wait lists shrinking more than they are?
- Why can’t Autism Outreach kids have consultant support past grade one? They too would benefit from the continued input of consultants who have followed their development and know their needs.
- We know from conversations with parents that Autism Outreach (with three consultants) is hard-pressed to serve the needs of their families. If the budget is up and the numbers served are down, why not extend support into the school years to even the playing field?
We would have liked to speak with representatives of these programs to find out what the numbers mean, and we will still try. Considering the answers to our questions were delayed for two months, we thought it important to share what we do have before the provincial budget comes out.
We are NOT saying one approach solves everything for everyone. But children should be supported fairly in the therapy their parents feel best meets their children’s needs.