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  • #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.

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  • #2485

    Deleted User

    The court case between local parents and the Governemnt of British columbia will continue next week. It will be held at the Supreme court section of the Law courts on Smithe street, in Vancouver. The hearings dates are as follows

    Monday, April 17th,2000
    from 10am to 4pm

    Tuesday, April 18th,2000
    from 10am to 4pm

    Thursday, April 20th,2000
    from 10am to 4pm

    The court only sits for 2 hour sessions. There is a break at 12:00 for lunch.

    The session resumes usually at 2:00 pm, and will continue till 4:00pm

    If anyone is interested in Autism treatment in British Columbia, Please try and attend part or all of the sessions this comming week.


    Carol Ywan

    Hi there,
    Another question about income tax. The first paragraph of the new changes (inside the red box) seems to indicate that if we claim our ABA $, we can't claim the child care expense. Am I reading that right?
    Thanks a lot.
    Carol Ywan


    Sabrina Freeman

    RE: upcoming autism court case

    As many of you know, the upcoming court case for autism treatment — Auton et al. vs. the BC Government — is slated for April 10. Here is detailed information for all those who would like to watch the proceedings.

    1) Court dates and times: April 10, 11, 12; 17, 18, 19, 20; 25, 26, 27 and 28.

    2) The proceedings will take place in the Supreme Court section of the Vancouver Law Courts. The address is: 800 Smithe St., Vancouver. Parking is available underground.

    3) The court is in session from 10:00 am to 12:30 PM and 2:00 PM to 4:00 PM. Everyone should arrive by 9:45 am to allow enough time to settle in — it is very important that everyone is seated and quiet by precisely 10:00 am when the Judge enters.

    4) For those of you attending the proceedings, there are a few important court rules we need to keep in mind:

    – tape recorders, cell phones and pagers are not permitted in the courtroom.
    – jeans are not permitted in the courtroom
    – no comments, moans or groans are permitted. The judge may ask a person to leave the courtroom for these reasons. Some witnesses may say things that you may vehemently disagree with. However, it’s very important for everyone in the courtroom to stay calm and in control.

    5) The lawyers representing the parents have informed me that they will not be available for questions during the breaks or during lunch since they will be working on the case during this time. The lawyers have instructed the steering committee to take all questions anyone has regarding the case — we will make sure they receive the questions after proceedings conclude that day.

    Children with autism receiving Lovaas Treatment are about to have their day in the Supreme Court of BC. I am sure many of you are looking forward to these legal proceedings and I very much look forward to seeing you in the courtroom!



    Deleted User

    I can contribute somewhat to Peggy's request. We have an "At Cost"
    insurance program to help with the cost of our sons' programs. Please
    note I am not a tax expert, just a Dad.

    All money 'deposited' with the insurance company is taken off your gross
    income reported on your T4. (As if you did not earn it). What you get in
    return from the insurance company (supported by claims with receipts
    etc.) is your money back less a 10% fee. That is why its called an 'at
    cost' insurance program.

    The net effect is that you can spend your pre-tax dollars on your home
    program (less a 10% fee), instead of after-tax dollars. Clearly this
    works better for you if you are in a higher tax bracket. So instead of
    30%-50% income tax, you are paying a 10% fee. This is a tax break of
    20%-40%, depending on your tax bracket.

    The information provided by Isaac seemed to indicate a 25% break on tax,
    so it sounds like you need to be in a 35% or higher tax bracket to
    continue to make an 'at cost' plan work financially.

    Other positive aspects of an 'at cost' insurance program include:
    – no fights with Revenue Canada, since the cost of the monthly deposits
    is not reported as income at all. No form T2201 etc.
    – monthly claims, so you don't wait till the end of the tax year to
    organize your receipts…
    – can claim diapers, all therapy, team meetings, workshops, travel, per
    diem, car rental, hotel costs etc.

    Negative aspects (need to be mentioned too!)
    – need an employer willing to make at source pay deductions (its
    perfectly legal as far as I could tell)
    – have to fill out monthly detailed claims (but I guess you would have
    to do this for Rev. Canada as well)
    – pay 10% fee for each claim

    I can point you in the right direction to get this set up if anybody is

    Hope this helps!

    Rob and Sherry vanSpronssen


    Peggy Boon

    Thanks for the income tax information Isaac. It was very interesting. I'm wondering if anyone can comment on the implications of claiming deductions to the income tax form as described by Price Waterhouse versus purchasing a private health care plan where the expenses are deducted directly from pre tax income. ie. which is the best savings overall, and at what income level would it be most beneficial.



    RE: tax information for ABA families

    Many thanks to our friends at Manitoba FEAT who have kindly shared some tax information that will be helpful for ABA families in Canada.

    Stephen Sutherland, President, MFEAT, has forwarded an opinion on tax issues surrounding running an in-home ABA program — an MFEAT member wants to share this opinion as widely as possible with other ABA families.

    The opinion is from Price-Waterhouse-Coopers and is available for download from the FEAT BC server in three formats:

    1) Acrobat PDF:

    2) MS Word 5.0 (MAC OS):

    3) MS Word for Windows 95:


    (Miki’s Dad)

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