Statement on Autism Treatment

May 2, 2016

Mr. Ernie Hardeman: Every child in Ontario deserves an opportunity to succeed. No parent should have to hear that the government has given up on their child, but that’s what parents like Laura Donkers have been told. Her son Lawson is six and has autism. After only four months of intensive behaviour therapy this spring, they received a letter saying that he was being transitioned out. As his mother said, “I waited six years for him to call me Mom. Do you know what it’s like to wonder if your child knows who you are and your name? I do. Now Kathleen wants to take that away from us. That’s not right.”

Mr. Speaker, it is not right. The government should not be giving up on children just because they are six years old, especially those who have spent years on the wait-list.

He was six when he started IBI, but already Lawson has learned to wash his hands, how to dress and is learning how to use the toilet. Imagine how much he could learn in the two years of therapy his parents were promised. Instead, the government has chosen to cut off services for kids like Lawson just because of their age.

The need for help doesn’t stop at six. These children deserve a chance for the future. I’m asking the government to give Lawson and all children like him a chance. Give them the IBI therapy that they need. As Laura Donkers said, “Please don’t let Kathleen Wynne leave behind a generation of children.”