Subject line: AUTISM DOESN’T END AT 18!
Dear Premier Ford and Minister Smith,
I am writing on behalf of the 7 families and their 9 adult children whose autism funding was abruptly cut on August 6, 2019. Since that time, these families have been in crisis. Their kids are regressing: some have been hospitalized or wandered unsupervised into dangerous situations. Some parents have been forced to sell their homes or quit jobs to provide care for their high-needs children. However, I understand the Ministry of Children Community and Social Services has done nothing to rectify the chaos it has caused.
These parents successfully sued the province in 2004 against its discriminatory age six cut-off from autism supports. Consequently, their children had been receiving court-ordered, government-funded specialized care and support for over 15 years thereafter. All of these families’ children have severe autism and complex special needs. As a result of losing their vital and highly specialized supports, they are now all at tremendous risk of physical harm.
I have seen your reversal of many of the social service budget cuts made earlier this year, but wonder why you have targeted these families in not providing assistance? I would ask you to do the right thing and fix this egregious error. Ontarians deserve better than this, and that especially includes those who are marginalized.
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