Vancouver, Canada — The number of children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in the Canadian British Columbia has multiplied over the years, despite the fact the number of gifted children in the province has decreased considerably.
According to figures published by the Vancouver Sun, the number of children with autism in B.C. is now at 3.3 percent, a significant jump from the recorded 2.2 percent in 2002.
The number of children with special needs in B.C. went down by 182, while the number of those classified with learning disabilities was down by 354. This huge drop, however, has been easily offset by the rise of the number of those with autism, which was pegged at 478.
It is believed that the decrease in the number of gifted children in the province might be due to the fact that educators no longer classify many of them as such, but teachers are concerned that impending changes that the educational system might make will have a considerable impact on the children with special needs. A statement by the B.C. Teachers’ Federation told:
“Many teachers have heard that the current special education categories, and the funding that flows from them, will be eliminated. A decategorized model for special education raises disturbing issues about how the needs of these students will be met.”
The Minister of Education assured teachers, however, that no major changes shall be made without consultation.
Source: Tracy Sherlock in The Vancouver Sun Dyslexia and autism spectrum disorder on the rise among B.C. students