This topic contains 1,814 replies, has 143 voices, and was last updated by  Laurie Guerra 5 hours, 57 minutes ago.

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  • #75

    FEAT BC Admin
    Keymaster

    In this topic area, discussion is about the fight to secure Government funding for your A.B.A. treatment program. It is also the place to talk about your thoughts and ideas about how to establish new Government programs specifically designed for autism treatment.

    This is the place to hear input from parents who have fought for funding and won, as well as those who have fought for funding and would like to share their horror stories. There is a tendency to not share success stories once funding is secured. Please fight that tendency. By sharing our experience, we all become stronger.

     


    —-By FEAT BC (Freeman) on Saturday, January 3, 1998 – 03:16 pm:

    -Hi everyone!

    These are some things to think about in your dealings with government to help you to obtain support for your child’s Autism Treatment Program. These are my personal opinions and do not represent those of FEAT of BC or any other organization.

    Many of these observations are based on my personal experiences (and I believe it poetic justice to help every parent avoid being systematically abused by their social worker the way I was).

    Good luck to everyone! (Let’s all pull back the curtain on the Wizard of OZ).

    Sabrina

     


    How To Fight for Funding for Autism Treatment and Appropriate School Placement

    1. Establish a Paper Trail

    Always take notes, documenting major points of all conversations with government and school officials.

    This includes casual, in person conversations with social workers as well as ALL telephone conversations. All key points of discussion must be written down in your notes including the date and time of the discussion. This includes what was agreed upon, as well as what was not agreed upon.

    Then the notes should be used to write a letter recapping the substance and content of the conversation. This letter must then be mailed or faxed to the person with whom you had the conversation. In addition, a copy must be kept in your file (see section on the icci game).

    Why?

    It is important to formalize the interaction between you and Government officials. In addition, everyone is put on notice that they must closely adhere to their responsibilities, regulations and laws., Furthermore, they must then consider the paper trail you have created. This lets everyone know that the interaction can become public and that any abuses of power and authority can be formally appealed and/or publicized.

    In other words, they canit use discretion unfairly under the cloak of secrecy.

    2. Submit all Requests in Writing

    All your requests for your child must be submitted formally in writing with a copy included in your file and a copy, if necessary, sent to their immediate superiors.

    3. Set Deadlines for Action

    All formal requests for action must have a reasonable deadline set for that action. If no action or response is received by the deadline you have set (two weeks for example), then you will interpret the lack of response as a formal declination (a formal NO) of your requests.

    Why Set Deadlines?

    When bureaucrats do not want to do something, they will stall by ignoring you and your request. (As an aside, in the study of the bureaucracy, this is known as ithe power to do nothingi). They can string you along for years. When you have determined that the person you are interacting with is not inclined to help you or is not dealing in good faith, then you must take the initiative and formally label his/her behavior as obstructionist and de facto as a declination (a NO to your requests). This allows you to move to the next level of authority on your timetable to present your case. This takes the power to do nothing away from the bureaucrat with whom you are dealing. Simple stated, a bureaucrat who stalls and does nothing becomes irrelevant (use your invisible spray) and you move on to the next level of authority.

    How to icci?

    A cc. is a copy of your letter sent to someone other than the person you are writing. You put the cc. at the bottom left-hand corner of your letter followed by 2 spaces and the name of the person or people to whom you want to send a copy of the letter.

    Who to icci to?

    Sometimes it is best not to icci at all, especially in the early stages of the relationship (for example, your first letter to a social worker requesting assistance). This gives them the opportunity to do the right thing and does not present you as an overly combative person. When you start to run into problems, it is a good idea to send the icci to the 2 immediate superiors of the person you are having problems with. We do not recommend icciing all the way up the chain of command, since you want to give them a chance to solve the problem at the local level.

    Why send a icci copy?

    The reason for playing the icci game is that you want your interactions with the official to be known to his superior and possibly to other organizations so that 1) their action or inaction becomes a matter of record and 2) the individual knows he is being monitored. This helps minimize abuses of power and authority and helps encourage the official to meet their obligations and do the right thing.

    What is the sequence of letters?

    Find out the chain of command of the particular bureaucracy you are battling.

    TOP

    Minister
    Deputy Minister
    Children’s Ministry’s local region chain of command, all the way down to the District Supervisor
    and Social Worker
    Contacts can be found at the government directory: http://www.dir.gov.bc.ca/

    BOTTOM

    Start at the bottom and climb. At the Regional Operating Officer (ROO) level (once you have been declined) you have to decide whether to jump up to the top, threaten and then go to the media, or both. A word of wisdom: DO NOT BLUFF. If you are not willing to go all the way, they will ‘smell’ this. You must be prepared to take it right up to the Minister and beyond.

    Documentation from Experts:

    In your arsenal to fight for your child, it is wise to get his/her pediatrician and/or psychiatrist to write a letter on your childis behalf. In addition, any other experts who know your child and are sympathetic to what you are trying to do should become involved.

    When to hire a lawyer?

    If money is not an issue, you can hire a lawyer when you get to the area manager level. Make sure that you have a paper trail so the lawyer has something to work with. Also, have the lawyer give F.E.A.T. of B.C. a call, and we will send him/her information that will help.

    If money is an issue (as it is for most of us running autism treatment programs), you might want to hire a lawyer once you have been turned down by the Minister.

    How to hire a lawyer?

    The type of lawyer needed is a litigator, or trial lawyer. S/he does not need to be an expert in autism, or special needs; s/he needs to be experienced in suing governments, and enjoys being in court. Word of mouth is a good way to find a lawyer.

Viewing 10 replies - 1 through 10 (of 1,814 total)
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  • #23044

    Laurie Guerra
    Participant

    Hello Andrew and Franca,

    The Dir. of Operations at Autism BC, Andrew Pinfold has been gathering information on provincial autism budgets across the country. Apparently Québec’s plan is grossly underfunded. AFU funding alone in BC is 75 million, then add respite, at- home program and Ministry of Education transfers and the Québec program looks even worse.

    I’ve asked Andrew Pinfold to join the Feat of BC’s Discussion Forums so he can add to these discussions.

    #23043

    Franca Pastro
    Participant

    Hi Andrew,

    In the Quebec protest article, the author states that “Autism-rights advocates claim Quebec’s $29-million action plan is nothing compared to Ontario’s investment of $330 million for children with autism.”  Do we know what the BC’s or other provinces’ budgets are?

    Thanks,

    Franca

    #23042

    Andrew Kavchak
    Participant

    Hi Folks,

    Global News did a report about an autism protest in Quebec yesterday.  It is available here:

    Parents protest and call on Quebec to step up autism services

     

    #23039

    Andrew Kavchak
    Participant

    Hi Folks,

    I just came across an interesting article and study about the lifespan of adults with autism and the risk of death by injury. I bring it to your attention because I suspect many of us did not anticipate this (I certainly did not), and I post it here because I do not recall seeing anything in any public policy debate about the average length of life for people with autism, any studies on the issue, the risk of injury causing death for people with autism, and the implications (which are potentially huge).  This is not a pleasant topic, but something we should be aware of and can’t avoid.

    http://ajph.aphapublications.org/doi/abs/10.2105/AJPH.2017.303696

    https://www.cnn.com/2017/03/21/health/autism-injury-deaths-study/index.html

     

    #23034

    Andrew Kavchak
    Participant

    Hi Folks,

    One of the great things about out democracy is that a few parties take turns running the show, and (apart from a few exceptions), one of the great checks and balances against the inevitable corrupting effect of power is that those in power tend not to stay there forever.  Being relegated to the opposition benches after a time in power is a good thing for many politicians (although they won’t admit it) because it gives them some more time to reflect and get humble.  Personally, I always find it interesting to note the creative and imaginative things that opposition members think up once they are in opposition, and not while they were in power and could actually do something.

    One example, many years ago, was that of Andy Scott, the MP from New Brunswick. As you may recall, he was a Cabinet Minister during the Chretien years.  During that time, I am not aware of his actually have done anything on the autism front.  I did read an article once in the newspaper that said he mentioned the word “autism” once or something, and I tried to contact his office to follow up, but his office did not bother to reply to me.  At that time, if he actually did anything, it was behind closed doors and somewhat secret.  However, once he was in opposition…oh, boy,….suddenly he was a crusader who tabled a Motion for a National Autism Strategy or something, provoked debates in the House, and temporarily assumed the role of champion in the House for our community.  The Motion was passed, but was non-binding (motions are not law), and proved to be symbolic and was quickly forgotten.

    Any other examples?  Yes!  Today, it is Pierre Poilievre, the Conservative MP. When he was first elected, he was in opposition and he came to our autism rallies and denounced the Liberals for ignoring the plight of Canadians with autism with all his might.  After a little education for him about the community’s challenges, he had an Op-Ed published in the influential Ottawa weekly “The Hill Times” in which he stated that the government needs to amend the Canada Health Act to ensure that autism treatment is provided by the provinces under Medicare. It was clear, unambiguous and in black and white. He accused the Liberals of hypocrisy, but then he showed that hypocrisy ran in his veins too. A few years later Poilievre was a Cabinet Minister on the government side.  Liberal opposition member Shawn Murphy tabled a Bill that would do precisely what Poilievre previously wrote was needed (note: Murphy did not table the Bill while his party was in power, but only after the election when he was in the opposition benches). And guess how Poilievre voted?  Unfortunately, he voted against it.

    And now that Poilievre is in opposition again, suddenly the plight of the disabled is a cause of concern for him again.  So on Thursday, February 15, 2018, he rose in the House and made this statement:

    Persons with Disabilities

    Mr. Speaker, imagine if someone told us that the harder we work, the poorer we will become. That is exactly what governments tell people with disabilities. When they get jobs, they suddenly lose benefits and immediately start paying taxes, sometimes losing more than they gain. All parties and levels of governments are to blame.

    The opportunity for workers with disabilities act seeks to solve the problem by requiring that Finance Canada calculate how much workers lose for every $1,000 they earn. If they lose more than they gain, the finance minister would be required to propose changes to federal taxes and benefits to fix it. Provinces would be required to meet the same standard as a condition of receiving $13 billion of social transfers.
    While the bill would not micromanage provincial programs, it would instill one simple principle: that people with disabilities must always be allowed to earn more in wages than they lose in taxes and clawbacks.
    _______________
    So what is this Bill he is referring to?  It is Bill C-395, a Bill he has now sponsored which has the long title: “An Act to amend the Federal-Provincial Fiscal Arrangements Act” and the short title: “Opportunity for Workers with Disabilities Act“.  It was tabled and given first reading on February 5, 2018.  The text of the Bill can be read here:
    So…on the assumption that this Bill will die on the Order Paper when the next election writ is dropped (as most opposition Private Members Bills do), imagine that after the next election Poilievre is back in Cabinet with his government in power, and some MP in the opposition tabled a Bill that was word-for-word a replica of this Bill C-395… would Poilievre vote for, or against?  Of course, it depends on what his leader and party whip would tell him (and his party caucus) to do at the time, but if history is any indication, I suspect he would vote against it. In fact, if I were a betting man, I would bet the house on it!
    In the meantime, it will be interesting to observe how much he invests in the promotion of the Bill and where, when, and how, he chooses to promote his association with the Bill’s contents.   While the Bill appears to have some genuine merit which could potentially benefit many members of the autism community, after years of observing Poilievre and other opportunistic politicians, it is hard to get excited,especially when history demonstrates that the chances of disappointment are probable.
    #23033

    Andrew Kavchak
    Participant

    Hi Folks,

    One of the great things about out democracy is that a few parties take turns running the show, and (apart from a few exceptions), one of the great checks and balances against the inevitable corrupting effect of power is that those in power tend not to stay there forever.  Being relegated to the opposition benches after a time in power is a good thing for many politicians (although they won’t admit it) because it gives them some more time to reflect and get humble.  Personally, I always find it interesting to note the creative and imaginative things that opposition members think up once they are in opposition, and not while they were in power and could actually do something.

    One example, many years ago, was that of Andy Scott, the MP from New Brunswick. As you may recall, he was a Cabinet Minister during the Chretien years.  During that time, I am not aware of his actually have done anything on the autism front.  I did read an article once in the newspaper that said he mentioned the word “autism” once or something, and I tried to contact his office to follow up, but his office did not bother to reply to me.  At that time, if he actually did anything, it was behind closed doors and somewhat secret.  However, once he was in opposition…oh, boy,….suddenly he was a crusader who tabled a Motion for a National Autism Strategy or something, provoked debates in the House, and temporarily assumed the role of champion in the House for our community.  The Motion was passed, but was non-binding (motions are not law), and proved to be symbolic and was quickly forgotten.

    Any other examples?  Yes!  Today, it is Pierre Poilievre, the Conservative MP. When he was first elected, he was in opposition and he came to our autism rallies and denounced the Liberals for ignoring the plight of Canadians with autism with all his might.  After a little education for him about the community’s challenges, he had an Op-Ed published in the influential Ottawa weekly “The Hill Times” in which he stated that the government needs to amend the Canada Health Act to ensure that autism treatment is provided by the provinces under Medicare. It was clear, unambiguous and in black and white. He accused the Liberals of hypocrisy, but then he showed that hypocrisy ran in his veins too. A few years later Poilievre was a Cabinet Minister on the government side.  Liberal opposition member Shawn Murphy tabled a Bill that would do precisely what Poilievre previously wrote was needed (note: Murphy did not table the Bill while his party was in power, but only after the election when he was in the opposition benches). And guess how Poilievre voted?  Unfortunately, he voted against it.

    And now that Poilievre is in opposition again, suddenly the plight of the disabled is a cause of concern for him again.  So on Thursday, February 15, 2018, he rose in the House and made this statement:

    Persons with Disabilities

    Mr. Speaker, imagine if someone told us that the harder we work, the poorer we will become. That is exactly what governments tell people with disabilities. When they get jobs, they suddenly lose benefits and immediately start paying taxes, sometimes losing more than they gain. All parties and levels of governments are to blame.

    The opportunity for workers with disabilities act seeks to solve the problem by requiring that Finance Canada calculate how much workers lose for every $1,000 they earn. If they lose more than they gain, the finance minister would be required to propose changes to federal taxes and benefits to fix it. Provinces would be required to meet the same standard as a condition of receiving $13 billion of social transfers.
    While the bill would not micromanage provincial programs, it would instill one simple principle: that people with disabilities must always be allowed to earn more in wages than they lose in taxes and clawbacks.
    _______________
    So what is this Bill he is referring to?  It is Bill C-395, a Bill he has now sponsored which has the long title: “An Act to amend the Federal-Provincial Fiscal Arrangements Act” and the short title: “Opportunity for Workers with Disabilities Act“.  It was tabled and given first reading on February 5, 2018.  The text of the Bill can be read here:
    So…on the assumption that this Bill will die on the Order Paper when the next election writ is dropped (as most opposition Private Members Bills do), imagine that after the next election Poilievre is back in Cabinet with his government in power, and some MP in the opposition tabled a Bill that was word-for-word a replica of this Bill C-395… would Poilievre vote for, or against?  Of course, it depends on what his leader and party whip would tell him (and his party caucus) to do at the time, but if history is any indication, I suspect he would vote against it. In fact, if I were a betting man, I would bet the house on it!
    In the meantime, it will be interesting to observe how much he invests in the promotion of the Bill and where, when, and how, he chooses to promote his association with the Bill’s contents.   While the Bill appears to have some genuine merit which could potentially benefit many members of the autism community, after years of observing Poilievre and other opportunistic politicians, it is hard to get excited,especially when history demonstrates that the chances of disappointment are probable.
    #23031

    Andrew Kavchak
    Participant

    Hi Folks,

    Well, here we go again. Another awful story in the media about a family in Canada with a non-verbal child with autism, waiting for years for speech therapy, only to be told that they “aged out”.  This kind of stuff should really be illegal.  And where did the media find the story this time?  La Belle Province – Quebec.

    I remember years ago when a motion for a National Autism Strategy was debated in the House of Commons that the “health critic” from the Bloc Quebecois got up and gave a speech about how wonderful were the services for the autism community in Quebec (a real paradise if you believe in leprechauns and unicorns!) and that Quebec did not need any federal intervention (help), bla, bla…  The politician making the speech was formerly a nurse. As I sat in the public gallery and listened to her unmitigated B.S. I remember wondering what defective gene or psychiatric malfunction would allow such politicians to lie, lie, lie and sacrifice the health of others for the sake of preventing any cooperation between the feds and the provinces that could help improve the lives of all Canadians with autism. The shameful thing is that Quebec’s current Premier is a doctor.  However, as the article points out, the provincial government wants a budget surplus, lower taxes, etc….goals which they are trying to achieve on the backs of… disabled kids.  I was born in Montreal and lived there for many years. Regrettably, Quebec is not as distinct as the Bloc Quebecois MP insisted and pretended (other provinces also have a history of believing in Cinderella and denying services because kids reached a certain age or did not their slippers back by midnight and turned into pumpkins or something), and sometimes not as “belle” as it should be. In fact, as the father suggests, it can be home to a “nightmare”.

    From:

    http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/montreal/quebec-father-speech-therapy-autistic-1.4533203

    <h1 class=”story-title”>Quebec father calls wait for speech therapy for child with autism a ‘nightmare'</h1>

    <h3 class=”story-deck”>Sam Kuhn’s daughter Charlotte, 7, is no longer eligible for individual speech therapy, after years of waiting</h3>

    #23021

    Andrew Kavchak
    Participant

    Has anyone heard of Bill C-211 An Act respecting a federal framework on post-traumatic stress disorder?

    This is a Bill that was tabled by a Conservative MP from B.C. on January 28, 2016 when it received first reading.  The Second reading took place on March 8, 2017 and 284 MPs voted in favour of the Bill and sending it to the committee stage where it was reviewed by the Standing Committee on Health. Note: at second reading not one MP voted against it. Mike Lake voted….in favour.  This is in contrast to the way he voted on February 21, 2007 at second reading of Bill C-304, the autism treatment and national strategy Bill.  You may remember that at that time Mike Lake issued a statement explaining that it was “bad law” and that the federal government had no business telling the provinces what to provide treatment for, etc.  (For more on Mike Lake’s specious arguments, see: http://featbc.org/downloads/FEATBC_release_02_26_07.pdf)

    So the Standing Committee on Health reports on May 30, 2017.  Note: I’ve written many times to the Chair and members of that committee in the past to get them to put autism on their agenda, and the answer was always….”no”.  Always.

    And then the House voted to support the Bill and pass it at third reading on June 16, 2017 (the Journals does not say what the vote count was, but that it was “agreed to” and “passed”.  So the elected members of Parliament passed it.  Done.  And it went to the Senate for the next stage in the legislation approval process.  The first reading in the Senate was on June 19, 2017.  It is now at the second reading stage.  Once it gets past third reading, it goes to the Governor General for Royal Assent and becomes law.  And everyone knows that historically, the Senate (being unelected and not having any legitimacy in a democracy) generally speaking always passes what the House sends it, and that the Governor General (another unelected Head of State with a legitimacy problem in a democracy) always approves Bills submitted by Parliament.

    So…what does the Bill say?  I’ve copied it below, but consider the following:

    1. this is not a motion (which is not binding), it is legislation (which is!);
    2. the Bill refers to a federal framework and national strategy;
    3. the Bill requires several federal Ministers to meet with their provincial counterparts;
    4. the Bill requires the development of a “comprehensive” framework to deal with diagnosis and treatment;
    5. the Minister of Health is required to make the framework public in a report within 18 months of the Bill becoming law;
    6. the Public Health Agency of Canada is then required to review the effectiveness of the “framework” and report on that within five years.

    And how is it that autism can’t get past second reading, but this Bill for PTSD, tabled by a member of the Conservative caucus, is just coasting along through the process with support from people like…Mike Lake?  Oh, I know, I know….PTSD is different from autism.  Sure, it is….but in his 2007 statement he suggested that no illness, disorder, syndrome, condition, sickness, etc. should be enacted upon by the feds because “it’s provincial”.  This is just another example, along with the former Conservative Bill to create a national securities regulator, where the government demonstrates hypocrisy and inconsistency.  When they want something, they will forge ahead and find some sort of means to get to their end.  When they lack the political will, the division of powers in the constitution becomes the convenient excuse for non-action (“Our hands are tied!”).  While some politicians and leaders are outstanding and very much needed by society, particularly in times of crisis, etc.  so many of these house of “commons” members strike me as amoral and lacking integrity.  Of course PTSD is important and deserves appropriate attention.  And autism? And where do the Liberals stand?  This Bill would not have passed second or third reading in the House without their support.  So….and autism?  I guess our day has not arrived…yet.  One day, Oh Lord, one day.

    BILL C-211
    An Act respecting a federal framework on post-traumatic stress disorder
    SUMMARY
    This enactment requires the Minister of Health to convene a conference with the Minister of National Defence, the Minister of Veterans Affairs, the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, provincial and territorial government representatives responsible for health and representatives of the medical community and patients’ groups for the purpose of developing a comprehensive federal framework to address the challenges of recognizing the symptoms and providing timely diagnosis and treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder.
    Preamble
    Whereas post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a condition that is characterized by persistent emotional distress occurring as a result of physical injury or severe psychological shock and typically involves disturbance of sleep and constant vivid recall of the traumatic experience, with dulled responses to others and to the outside world;
    Whereas there is a clear need for persons who have served as first responders, firefighters, military personnel, corrections officers and members of the RCMP to receive direct and timely access to PTSD support;
    Whereas, while not-for-profit organizations and governmental resources to address mental health issues, including PTSD, exist at the federal and provincial levels, there is no coordinated national strategy that would expand the scope of support to ensure long-term solutions;
    And whereas many Canadians, in particular persons who have served as first responders, firefighters, military personnel, corrections officers and members of the RCMP, suffer from PTSD and would greatly benefit from the development and implementation of a federal framework on PTSD that provides for best practices, research, education, awareness and treatment;
    Now, therefore, Her Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate and House of Commons of Canada, enacts as follows:
    Short title
    1 This Act may be cited as the Federal Framework on Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Act.
    Interpretation
    Definitions
    2 The following definitions apply in this Act.
    Agency means the Public Health Agency of Canada. (Agence)
    federal framework means a framework to address the challenges of recognizing the symptoms and providing timely diagnosis and treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder. (cadre fédéral)
    Minister means the Minister of Health. (ministre)
    Federal Framework on Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
    Conference
    3 The Minister must, no later than 12 months after the day on which this Act comes into force, convene a conference with the Minister of National Defence, the Minister of Veterans Affairs, the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, provincial and territorial government representatives responsible for health and stakeholders, including representatives of the medical community and patients’ groups, for the purpose of developing a comprehensive federal framework in relation to
    (a) improved tracking of the incidence rate and associated economic and social costs of post-traumatic stress disorder;
    (b) the establishment of guidelines regarding
    (i) the diagnosis, treatment and management of post-traumatic stress disorder, and
    (ii) the sharing throughout Canada of best practices related to the treatment and management of post-traumatic stress disorder; and
    (c) the creation and distribution of standardized educational materials related to post-traumatic stress disorder, for use by Canadian public health care providers, that are designed to increase national awareness about the disorder and enhance its diagnosis, treatment and management.
    Preparation and tabling of report
    4 (1) The Minister must prepare a report setting out the federal framework and cause a copy of the report to be laid before each House of Parliament within 18 months after the day on which this Act comes into force.
    Publication of report
    (2) The Minister must publish the report on the Agency’s website within 30 days after the day on which it is laid before a House of Parliament.
    Review and Report
    Review
    5 The Agency must
    (a) complete a review of the effectiveness of the federal framework no later than five years after the day on which the report referred to in section 4 is published; and
    (b) cause a report on its findings to be laid before each House of Parliament within the next 10 sitting days after the review is completed.

     

     

     

    #23002

    Andrew Kavchak
    Participant

    Hi Folks,

    So Parliament resumed sitting on Monday and although the word “autism” has not come up yet in the recorded transcripts, something else of interest came up yesterday (Tuesday, January 30, 2018).  One of the MPs made a statement about Alzheimer’s.  It appears that he tabled a motion to develop a “national seniors strategy” that was passed last May.  Motions, unlike Bills (that become Statutes) are not binding.  However, it seems that the Government majority in the House agreed with it and supported the idea.  Now it appears they are developing a “national strategy for dementia” and will be creating an “advisory committee”.

    Where are all the opponents to the concept of a “National Autism Strategy” on these ones?  Where is Trudeau saying that the Government already does lots for Alzheimer’s and dementia by paying for some research? Or that the Government continues to support “advocacy groups” and that kind of thing? Did Mike Lake come out and say “It’s provincial” anywhere?  It strikes me as absolutely bizarre that the feds get involved in creating and announcing unprecedented “national housing strategies” and now appear to have no qualms supporting motions and creating “national strategies” for things like dementia, when our community has not even been able to get one single federal Cabinet Minister to say the words “National Autism Strategy”.  Why? Why? Why?

    Alzheimer’s Awareness Month

    <b>Mr. Marc Serré (Nickel Belt, Lib.): </b>

    Mr. Speaker, January is Alzheimer’s Awareness Month.
    More than 400,000 Canadians have been diagnosed with dementia. I have seen first-hand the devastation caused by this disease. After my motion to develop a national seniors strategy was passed in Parliament in May, I began travelling across the country to co-host seniors town halls with my colleagues. Countless Canadians have expressed the need to proactively get to the root cause of this disease, eliminate the stigma, and identify the most effective ways to prevent, diagnose, and treat it.
    I am proud to say that we listened to the public and that the Government of Canada is developing a national strategy for dementia and subsequently creating an advisory committee.
    I encourage everyone to learn more about Alzheimer’s and go to the Alzheimer Society of Canada website. Together we can improve the quality of life of people living with dementia, their families, and everyone involved.
    <i>Meegwetch</i>. Thank you.
    #22990

    Andrew Kavchak
    Participant

    Hi Folks,

    Well, sometimes the wait times for some critical services are so long that something has to give somewhere…..or…..someone comes up with an alternative solution!

    http://edmontonjournal.com/news/local-news/skirting-the-wait-list-edmonton-schools-aim-to-diagnose-autism-on-their-own

    In Edmonton it appears that the school boards are now training their own psychologist teams to diagnose autism. I presume that they will only be providing this service for kids who are already of school age, which would presumably include kindergarten.  In Ontario I know kindergarten used to start at age five, and then a few years ago the government talked about something for four year olds. I’m not sure what the status is now.  However, for the many parents who might be concerned that their child needs to be assessed earlier than that (e.g., at age 1, 2 or 3), this school diagnosis option of seeking a diagnosis at age 5 or 6 (or 7?) may come a little late.  But for some who may be borderline or high functioning (or with parents in denial), this option may prove helpful.

    I don’t know if any other public school boards across the country provide such diagnosis services, so I’m not sure if this is something new (although I have not heard of a school board in Ottawa getting into the diagnosis business). However, if the school boards are picking up on the need for psychological services for kids with autism, I hope they won’t just stop with the diagnosis, but consider the next step after a diagnosis…i.e., ABA treatment for those who need it…perhaps with programs supervised by some trained psychologists.

    The monetary incentive angle is interesting. As the article states, for kids over 7 who get a diagnosis, the school will get more funding.  Thus, the school seems to have an interest in getting the diagnosis.  Why can’t hospitals and the practitioners in the Medicare system not have the same incentive? Imagine…if a hospital were to have an autism clinic that provided assessments, diagnoses, and treatment…. and got money to provide treatment to every newly-diagnosed child, such as the pre-school age ones.   

     

     

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