Michael asks questions on behalf of autism protestors
NDP Leader Lorraine Michael (MHA, Signal Hill-Quidi Vidi) attended a protest organized by parents of children with autism this morning. Michael brought some of their concerns to Question Period in the House of Assembly this afternoon.
Michael says it is important to listen to people’s concerns. The protest had been well-publicized, and someone from government should have made time to come down and talk to the people involved, she said, especially after two of the parents came into Confederation Building to phone the Health Minister’s office.
“Parents of children with autism gathered outside this building today pleading with government to pay attention to their needs,” said Michael.
“Why did nobody from government come to listen to them?”
The NDP Leader says the parents have told her that children with autism in some other provinces get care that includes prompt diagnosis and assessment. The waiting list for treatment here is no longer than 30 days thanks to a human rights court case, but children wait up to two years for diagnosis.
“When will this government put the resources in place to see that children with autism get the same excellent care as in other provinces?” asked Michael.
“In British Columbia a clinical diagnostic assessment is conducted by Qualified Specialists—who can be psychiatrists, pediatricians or registered PhD-level psychologists,” she said.
“Why won’t this government provide the resources to train Qualified Specialists across the province to diagnose autism and get rid of the wait list immediately and for good?”