Ontario in need of autism programs

Ontario, Canada – Families with autism and the agencies wanting help them claim that people on the spectrum are being turned away from services they sorely need. These claims are supported by a slew reports that have been urging the Canadian providence to take action for the past two years.

One case is Jaslyn McLean’s 18-year-old son Jaavon. Diagnosed with autism at 17, the former honor roll student has had trouble completing high school since the onset of his OCD a few years ago. His mother has been knocking on doors and trying every agency she knows only to be turned away each time, being told her son is too high functioning to get help. Sadly, McLean is not the only case, leaving many distraught parents to abandon their children because they can’t handle the stress of caring for them solo.

Ontario news outlet The Star reported that the Ontario Partnership for Adults with Aspergers and Autism wrote in a letter to the providence’s ombudsmen that:

“This is alarming to Ontarians and devastating to those individuals and their families.”

The ombudsmen is investing the available services and will give his official report in spring.

Director of Redpath Centre in Toronto and one of the six agencies and one of the three parent advocates to sign the letter, Kevin Stoddart, met with The Star to comment that:

“The crack in the door is getting smaller.”

Last spring Ontario announced that it will spread $810 over three years to fund services for those on the spectrum.

Despite this great news many say this is not enough to fix the real issue of turning deserving people away. The Developmental Services Ontario reject many because they have IQ’s over 70, regardless of the fact that they can’t function without tremendous help. There is also the issue of collecting the appropriate data to not only figure out future needs, but to also ensure that people are getting the help they need.

Contributed by Audrey L. Hollingshead

Source: Andrea Gordonon The Toronto Star website: Agencies cite critical gaps in adult autism services