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Friday, December 25, 2015

Autism in Canada

In The Politics of Autism, I discuss the need for more research on autism in countries other than the United States.

At The Hill Times, Kathleen O'Grady writes:
[A]utism families in Canada are struggling, that diagnosed cases of autism are on the rise, and that most provincesare not able to keep up with necessary services.
According to a recent survey from the Canadian Autism Spectrum Disorders Alliance (CASDA), almost three quarters of parents of preschoolers in Canada with autism wanted, but did not receive, early intensive behavioural intervention for their child—one of few interventions for autism with solid peer reviewed evidence.

A similarly troubling report, released last month from the Ontario Auditor General, reveals that in some jurisdictions in the province, there are more children waiting for autism services than receiving them, with more than 16,000 children on wait lists that continue to balloon.

This has largely been my own experience in Ontario. Despite being a proud advocate of our universal health care system, which is intended to serve those in need and not just those with the ability to pay, I found it failed me when I needed it most. When my son did not meet traditional developmental milestones, I discovered I would have to wait years to get a diagnosis in the public health system. We paid for a private diagnosis instead, but then we still had to wait more than two years for publicly funded behavioural therapy, which was provided to us for only six months.