Government failing families affected by autism
NDP Education Critic Dale Kirby (MHA, St. John’s North) says students with Autism Spectrum Disorder are not getting the support they need to succeed. Kirby questioned the Minister of Education on the subject today in the House of Assembly.
“Autism Spectrum Disorder is the most common neurological disability affecting children today, but parents can't get the supports they need for their children,” Kirby said. There is an average wait of two years before children with autism can see an occupational therapist with Eastern Health, and only three itinerant teachers with autism-specific responsibilities in the Eastern School District.
“How much longer will families have to wait before this government gets its act together and gives more support to students with autism?” Kirby asked.
He also emphasized the financial costs being borne by families waiting for government action.
“Some parents are paying thousands of dollars out of their own pockets to take their children out of the province to get assessments and services they need,” Kirby said.
“Why are these parents being forced to find solutions themselves without leadership from this government?”