This topic contains 1,814 replies, has 143 voices, and was last updated by  Laurie Guerra 5 hours, 52 minutes ago.

  • Creator
  • #75

    FEAT BC Admin

    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).



    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).


    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.


    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:


    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 - 1,771 through 1,780 (of 1,814 total)
  • Author
  • #2523


    The Vancouver Sun ran a story today about the Government's appeal of the BC Supreme Court Decision (link below). Thank you to Jean Lewis for giving a strong interview to Sun reporter Neil Hall.

    BCTV will be covering the story today (08/29) as is CBC NewsWorld.




    RE: Lovaas Treatment/ABA article in MacLean’s Health section

    Hi everyone,

    MacLean’s magazine hit the stands today (Sept. 4 edition) with a feature on autism and ABA in the Health section. The article is well done: legal issues and the BC Supreme Court victory are discussed; Lovaas Treatment/ABA is a major focus of the piece; government neglect is mentioned, as is the impending Lovaas/ABA law suit against the Government of Nova Scotia.

    We encourage everyone to support this type of positive coverage in Canada’s leading, national newsmagazine by purchasing one or more copies to distribute to key people you may know e.g. relatives, your MLA & MP, Doctors, School District administrators, local media people … and yes, even local MCF staff. The article will give your fight a big boost in legitimacy amongst those you know and those whose opinion you are working to sway.

    Please write to the Maclean’s editor expressing your views on the story and the issue of public health care funding for autism treatment.

    A copy of the Feat BC press release about the BC Government’s appeal of the BC Supreme court decision is available at — many thanks to Avery Raskin (Ariel's Dad) for on going press relations support!

    Isaac (Miki’s Dad)
    Feat of BC


    Sabrina Freeman

    Dear FEAT BC members,

    Today (08/25/00), at approximately 10:30 AM, the gov’t submitted documents to the Court of Appeal (Victoria Registry) to appeal the decision in the case of Auton et al. vs. the Attorney General et al.

    The gov’ts lawyers did not indicate any specific reasons for an appeal, simply stating they request, “(i) The decision of Madam Justice Allan dated July 26, 2000 be set aside; and (ii) The petition be dismissed in whole.”

    I spoke with Bill Good on his show this morning regarding the gov’ts appeal. The discussion is available on the web at: (1:37 into the program)

    Although this appeal is certainly disappointing, we want to assure everyone that this gov’t action was not unexpected and that we continue to work diligently to see this case through to its ultimate conclusion. We have the resolve and the resources to meet this gov’t in the Supreme Court of Canada if they elect to go that far.

    Although our opposition is formidable, the truth is more stubborn than they are.



    There is a vicious rumor that the NDP has done the ultimate evil act that I predicted that they may do…and that is wait till the last day to submit an appeal to the courts. That's a really nice finishing touch by a departing evil reign..give the parents hope until the last moment, then pull the rug. There have been wicked rulers that have been responsible for needless human suffering right till the end of their days, but I am restraining myself to not to make direct comparisons..I don't need to..the comparisons are self-obvious. (Venting too much?..the final draft is much more tame than the original)

    Has the government appealed? Does anybody know?

    regards, Peter


    When it comes to dealing with inquiries from ANYONE about something that is personal family business, I think you have to make your own decision. But having said that, the fact that you would be uncomfortable discussing your ABA program with a social worker is another fine example of why the recent legal battle was fought — and why it was won.

    You have every right to be proud of having an ABA program for your child. It is the first best thing you could do, and arguably the toughest (remember, dolphin therapy is easy). You have the right to tell anyone who asks, "Yes, I do ABA, the only scientifically-proven treatment for autism in existence."

    And thanks to Justice Allan, no government can ever again threaten you or your family for exercising your child's rights under the Canadian Constitution.


    Deleted User

    Hello everyone.

    I'm wondering if anyone has any advice on how to handle government inquiries about one's ABA program (ie: when a social worker or other asks "are you doing ABA"). I'm wondering what other people have found to be effective as well as detrimental.

    This may not be something people feel comfortable writing on a web page so if anyone has any good advice as to how to deal with these inquiries, please do not hesitate to email me ( and then I will send my phone number to you.




    BC Premier Ujjal Dosanjh was on the Bill Good Show on Monday (08/14/00). A question was put to him about the recent BC Supreme Court ruling on autism treatment.

    The editor of the Langley Times apparently tuned in to the show and has formed some opinions. His editorial piece is available for download at

    The Bill Good Show is in the CKNW archive at

    (Miki's Dad)


    FEAT BC Admin

    We are forwarding an open letter from Paul L. Thibodeau regarding possible legal action on autism therapy deductions vis a vis Canada Customs and Revenue Agency (formerly Revenue Canada).

    The letter attached to Mr Thibodeau's e-mail is available for download at the Feat BC discussion board post (please follow the link below to reach the discussion post).

    Thank you.

    application/msword8-10-00-Ms. Witmer.doc
    8-10-00-ms.20witmer.doc (27 k)

    To every provincial and local autism associations.

    I am sharing the following information with you on the assumption that it will be of interest to some of your members.

    Attached please find, for your perusal, a copy of correspondence recently addressed to the P.M.'s office, some Cabinet Ministers, M.P.'s and M.P.P.'s.

    In short, we have had no choice but to be embroiled in a one-year battle with the Canada Customs and Revenue Agency due to the fact that all of our IEI/ABA consultant and therapist costs for the 1998 taxation year for our grandson with autism have been denied. We are still waiting for a definite answer about our 1999 claim.

    The pressure exerted upon my family by the Federal Agency and Government is no longer tolerable. The current Federal Liberal Government is clearly demonstrating a lack of understanding and compassion for families of autistic children. If this situation is not satisfactorily resolved before the end of this month, we have no alternative than to advise our legal counsel to initiate legal action against the Federal and Ontario governments

    Since many of us across the country could be affected by the results of these legal actions, I invite as many of you as possible to send me as much information as possible about the situations that you know, in your area or elsewhere, even if you think that your information could already have been sent to me.

    If you are aware of any members of your association who have had a)- their costs accepted without problem, b)- their costs disallowed by Revenue Canada (The Agency) or, c)- their costs disallowed that were later allowed, could you kindly share this information with us or, if you prefer, have these families contact me.

    Any information I received will be carefully recorded for use at the trials. The information will be presented as general information. Any specific information will be used in court only, if beforehand, the families and my counsel agree with this approach.

    You can also inform your members that, at any time, I would be glad to share any additional information and documentation with them.

    Any help you can provide in spreading the word about our situation is greatly appreciated. Do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions or comments.

    Thank you for your attention to the above.


    Paul L. Thibodeau

    E-mail :-

    PHONE:- (613) 828-8129.


    Hi Everyone,

    Congrats, Sabrina and Isaac on the article in the Langley Advance. That was a stunning photo of Miki!
    I had been thinking that it would be a great thing to do to bring this provincial judgement "down home" with a local article featuring a "home town" child. I would encourage all FEAT parents on home programs to do just that. Give your local paper a call and tell them you are involved with an ABA program of the kind described in the judgement. Offer to do an interview complete with photos for their paper. Give them a copy of the press release and the judgement (or the site where they can review one).
    Tell them the government should validate this judgement by moving forard with it. Tell the government that it should not appeal but should instead work to get funding in place for all families and save significant $ in the longrun. Tell them the pilot project is a humungous waste of $. Let's get 130 stories out around the province. Wouldn't that be great coverage!





    Courtesy of David Chan — Feat BC Richmond — here is a Chinese news clip from the Sing Tao Daily regarding the recent BC Supreme Court decision on autism treatment.

Viewing 10 replies - 1,771 through 1,780 (of 1,814 total)

You must be logged in to reply to this topic.