End wait times for autism services now: NDP

Ontario NDP MPP Monique Taylor called on the Acting Premier during Question Period this morning to address staggering wait lists for treatment for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and their families.

“Let’s take a trip down memory lane on the government’s record on wait lists for autism services. In 2004, the Deputy Premier said, ‘the waiting lists are simply too long and there are too many kids who aren't getting what they need.’ Five years later, the Deputy Premier said, and I quote, ‘clearly the wait list is not acceptable.’ Yesterday, the Deputy Premier suggested that 16,000 kids on a waiting list for autism services was ‘government progress.’ The government cannot plead ignorance. They have known about the devastating impacts of wait lists for years,” Taylor said.

“Will the Acting Premier admit that this government has failed kids with autism and their families?” Taylor asked.

Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA) and Intensive Behavioural Intervention (IBI) are the only known evidence-based treatments for ASD. The government’s own estimates show that the number of spaces has decreased for ABA services. Taylor said the government needs to act immediately to end wait times for autism services for children and families.

“Yesterday, the Minister of Children and Youth Services said she didn’t think there was a decrease in the number of spots available for ABA and IBI services. But estimates show that the number of spaces has decreased for ABA services. Families have made plea after plea to this Minister to deal with the wait list and ensure kids are getting the support they need. Parents and kids have had enough. The time for action is now.”

“Will the Acting Premier instruct the Minister to immediately end wait times for autism services?” Taylor asked.