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Ontario government won’t disclose progress in rolling out autism program

TORONTO — The Ontario government has refused to publicly disclose progress on enrolling children in the main treatments for autism. The last update indicated that we were far from our autistic goals.

Minister of Children, Community and Social Services Marylee Fullerton said the government will have 8,000 children in core clinical services by the end of the fall, a figure that stood at just about 888 as of last month.

Government officials at the time said they were slow to move at first as they started and implemented new intake processes, and said their numbers would begin to grow exponentially.

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However, the Fullerton office declined to provide an update on those figures in response to a request from The Canadian Press earlier this month.

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“Given that thousands of invitations have been sent out to families at various stages, these numbers, like they once were, are a huge understatement for the Ontario Autism Program,” spokesman Patrick Bisset said in a statement. It means that it does not reflect development.

Bisset did not respond to follow-up inquiries seeking further clarification.

NDP critic Monique Taylor called it “disgraceful”.

“It’s not transparent and it’s not what the family needs or wants,” she said. “They have had program failures and rollout failures and now they are hiding it.”

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Alina Cameron’s 7-year-old daughter has been on a waiting list for government-funded treatment since October 30, 2017, and checking her enrollment progress is not only a matter of transparency, but also a financial planning issue. I told her that it was also a problem of

Her family managed to pay for part-time treatment out of their own pocket and manage successfully, but nowhere near the $93,000 a year she was clinically prescribed.

Cameron pays nearly $900 a week for part-time services, but he’s not sure how much more he’ll have to plan to cover that, or whether his daughter’s treatment needs to be further curtailed. And I don’t know if I need to make a new plan, she said.

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“[Updating registrations]gives us a rough idea of ​​what’s going on in the program, estimates the time we’re on the waiting list, and helps us close the gap between now and when the kids receive their invitations.” We can be financially prepared,” Cameron said.

“But more than that, it gives us hope that it will come.”

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As of last month, the government has sent about 6,300 letters to families urging them to register for the new intake portal. An additional 5,000 letters were planned to be sent out at the end of August, but so far the response has been lower than the authorities expected.

As of mid-August, fewer than 1,700 families had responded to the letter and registered with the new system, officials said. It was to issue invitations to families to participate, about 300 of whom were out.

Officials said last month that 30 of the 300 children had been enrolled in primary clinical services since late July.

They were in order of registration. That means we started with the children who first sought treatment in 2015. Officials say some children may no longer need services.

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This is the second attempt at a new autism program by the Progressive Conservative government. They scrapped an original 2019 plan to give every family on the waiting list either $20,000 or $5,000, depending on the age of the child, after quick and sustained protests. said that funding should not be determined by age, and that amounts were too low for children requiring moderate to intensive care.

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The government has returned to the plan, but in the meantime, more than 3,000 children who were receiving government-funded treatment through the old Liberal government’s old autism program have said they have not seen a disruption in services. Treated as a grandfather.

But Angela Brandt, president of the Ontario Autism Coalition, said the families currently enrolled in core services under the government’s program are the children who are already in treatment because they have been enrolled in the program the longest. He said it meant there was a high probability.

“They promised to take 8,000 children off the waiting list by the fall of 2022, but what they are doing now is still falling short of that promise.

“Basically what they’re doing is transitioning kids based on the program name…so it’s just an administrative change. Is not.”

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More than 56,000 children are currently enrolled in the Ontario Autism Program. The majority do not receive funding for core services, but most receive a lump sum payment, and thousands have access to other parts of the program, including early services, basic family services, and admissions programs.

© 2022 Canadian Press



Ontario government won’t disclose progress in rolling out autism program

Source link Ontario government won’t disclose progress in rolling out autism program

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