Submitted Article | Photo by Jason Setnyk
Cornwall Ontario – Following months of relentless advocacy by the Ontario Autism Coalition, parents, charities, and opposition parties, the Ontario Government reinstated direct Intensive Behavioural Intervention (IBI) therapy funding for families of autistic children over the age of five.
Earlier this year, the Government had removed direct IBI funding for all children over the age of five, despite many of them waiting for years on a wait-list and never receiving the life changing therapy.
“Autism doesn’t end at five and I’m glad the public finally made the Government realize that,” MPP Jim McDonell stated.
“IBI makes a tremendous difference in an autistic child’s development, allowing some children the only available path to a full and productive life. Parents came to Queen’s Park on several occasions to voice their opposition to the Liberal Government’s arbitrary and unfair cut to autism funding. Now that the Liberals have finally listened to Ontarians on IBI funding, we encourage them to also take Ontarians’ advice on many other matters and reverse their damaging cuts to physician services, nurses, education supports, and other essential services Ontarians rely on,” MPP Jim McDonell added.
Prior to the change, families of children aged five or older were given an $8000 lump sum payment to cover the cost of therapy until the roll-out of new programs in 2018. Parents highlighted that this amount wouldn’t cover more than just a few months of therapy at best. Under the new arrangement, children will receive the required direct funding for the therapy they need until they are appropriately transitioned into the new programs.