Provincial Health Minister announces plans to increase autism services

Nova  Scotia, Canada – The provincial government has announced that autism services will soon be expanded as a result of rapidly increasing wait lists for Early Intensive Behavioural Intervention (EIBI).

Leo Glavine, the province’s health minister, plans to honour his party’s campaign promise by addressing the increased wait times for therapy programs for young children on the spectrum. With families facing up to 18 month waits to receive access to EIDI, an intensive treatment method designed to improve overall functionality, Glavine admits that services have “fallen behind”.

Prior to the announcement, over 1200 individuals had signed a petition lobbying the government to address the problem in a province that now has a reported 1-50 incidence of autism. Allison Garber, the mother of a 4 year old son with ASD  who began the petition, states:

“The wait is excruciating. Knowing that help is there and not being able to access it was just probably the toughest thing that myself and my husband have ever gone through.”

Because children who don’t receive early intervention prior to entering primary school are more likely to present with behaviors that prove to be a hindrance in the classroom, the onus is on the government to provide those on the spectrum with services as quickly and efficiently as possible.

The original story by Frances Willick in the Chronicle Herald can be read here.