SAMPLE LETTERS TO MPPs
We are in the process of collecting sample letters to MPPs in Ontario to help advocate for help for our children with autism. We have purposely presented them in plain text so that you can copy/paste them into your own document, however we do suggest that you use them as a guideline only. Be sure to add your own relevant information, copy to your own MPP, local politicians, case managers, doctors and any other interested parties.
For more ideas, come visit us on our message board to share strategies with other parents!
On January 8 our son was diagnosed as autistic. We have been on the
waiting list for IBI Funding with Kinark since October 26. I
believe that, with
this therapy, our son could be an independent and contributing member of society. No one knows what causes autism, how to prevent it, or how to cure
it - it is also beyond our scope of capability to finance therapy for our son.
To tell me that funding may be available in September is of no consolation
to me. That just means we'll be put back on the waiting list, and that
most opportune time for therapy has passed. THIS KIND OF FUNDING CANNOT WAIT. This is our child's developing brain - if we can do something now, his chances are greatly improved. It is unjust to tell a whole group of children that they must wait for this treatment. Early intervention is
vital to an autistic child's future development and success.
In the meantime, I will apply for Special Services At Home Funding and
Assistance for Children with Severe Disabilities. I will request help
the Kinsmen, Lions Club, my church. I am not lazy or proud (or rich). I know that spending money on our son now will save our Health Care System a
lot of money in the future.
If you can assist us in any way, I would certainly be most grateful.
Autism is increasing at a dramatic rate, and is now one of the most common
developmental disabilities. Please also bear my letter in mind for all those families who face this same crisis, and those families who will throughout this year.
Thank you for your time.
Julia Munro ,YORK NORTH MPP.
Karen Kraft Sloan, YORK NORTH M.P.
Tony Clement, MINISTER OF HEALTH
John Baird, MINISTRY OF COMMUNITY AND SOCIAL SERVICES
A British Columbia ruling in July of 2000 cited ABA as being a "medically necessary" service that must be funded by the government. The BC Supreme
Court has ruled that the current failure to fund this treatment constitutes direct government 'discrimination' against children with Autism Spectrum
Disorder, and is a breach of the Canadian Constitution (Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms Section 15-1). (http://www.featbc.org/decision.htm).
* * * * *
submitted by Kim, a mom in the Central East (Ontario) region
GOVERNMENT AND PRESS INFORMATION TO HELP YOU:
The following two articles were copied from the website of the Government of Ontario:
Program for Children with Autism
Autism is one of the most severe developmental disorders of childhood, occurring in at least 1 in 1000 children. Many people with autism have
severe relationship and communication problems, in addition to motor, sensory and cognitive difficulties.
Until recently, only a small proportion of children with autism were
expected to achieve independent functioning as adults. Most were expected to
require life long health, education and social services. That expectation is now changing with evidence that outcomes for many autistic children can be
dramatically improved when they receive intensive early intervention services.
The Ontario Government is providing new funding for intensive early
intervention services for autistic children age across Ontario. The Ministry
of Community and Social Services, through the Office of Integrated Services for Children, is proceeding with implementation of this initiative.
This is the first time specialized funding for intensive early intervention services for autistic children has been made available in Ontario. Five
years ago, no province was funding these specialized services. Today, Ontario is one of the provinces taking a lead in this area. The program will augment services already in place for children with autism by providing new funding for:
The Intensive Early Intervention Program will be provided by regional
service providers throughout the province. The regional programs will be
expected to either provide these services directly or through a purchase of service arrangement with another organization. They will also be required to
give each family the option of direct funding to purchase intensive behavioural intervention services privately.
This investment in intensive early intervention services for children with
autism addresses an important service gap and offers the opportunity for a
better quality of life for children with autism and their families.
August 15, 2001
HARRIS ANNOUNCES FUNDING TO HELP CHILDREN WITH AUTISM OTTAWA -- Mike Harris, Ontario's Premier, today said the government is working hard to help young children with autism and their families gain access to the support and services they need.
Joined by John Baird, Minister Responsible for Children, Harris presented
the Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario with a cheque for $1.29 million
for its groundbreaking program aimed at preschoolers with autism. The new funding is part of the government's $20 million investment in services for
autistic children this year, and is in addition to an existing $19 million commitment.
"I believe that all of Ontario's children deserve the best possible
start in life," said Harris. "Children with autism and their
families need extra
help, so we're doubling our investment in the vital programs they depend on."
"Six years ago, there wasn't a single province in Canada funding these
specialized services," said Baird. "Today, Ontario is taking the
investing in an intensive treatment program for autistic children."
The Harris government is committed to helping children with autism get the
treatment they need as early in life as possible. The government's
additional $20 million investment this year means more individual assessments for children with autism, intensive treatment for those age five
and under, more staff for regional programs, and additional training for families and professionals. Already, more than 400 children and their
families are benefiting from these programs.
"We listened when experts told us that early intervention works
best," said Harris. "That's why Ontario was one of the first
provinces to fund an
intensive, cutting-edge treatment program for autistic children."
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2: August 11, 2002