Parents miss funding for autism therapy

When dealing with difficult problems, some things are usually true. Homelessness, poverty, addiction and crime are all difficult problems with no easy solutions.

Solutions usually involve tradeoffs. They might come at a high cost. Solutions might help some, but hurt others.

If a solution to a hard problem was found that was relatively easy to implement, had no downsides, and which those in power agreed worked, you’d think they would jump to implement it, wouldn’t you?

In the case of early intensive therapy for children with autism, you’d be wrong.

Such therapy is backed by thousands of studies. It has decades of results behind it. It is saving other jurisdictions hundreds of millions of dollars. Minister Mary Polak agrees therapy must be intensive to be effective, and it saves millions per child in the long run.

On Jan. 31, 2010, the government closed the doors of its province-wide early intensive therapy programs for children with autism.

As parents mark this date, they wonder what it will take for government to reinstate this program, expanding it to all children with autism in B.C. whose parents want it.

Chris McIntosh

Sidney