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Direct Funding "option" not a fair option for families that have children with Autism

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Cap'n Clutch

Cap'n Clutch
Direct Funding vs. Direct Service

The province has a waiting list for children with Autism that generally takes about 2 years to reach the top in order to get either funding to pay for private therapy or to get an opening in a provincially run therapy program, which in Ottawa, is run through CHEO.  Should you choose Direct funding they provide you with $39 per hour for a pre-determined number of hours per week and requires that your private program also include, at a minimum, a Board Certified Behaviour Analyst for 2 hours per month at $110 per hour.  The current private centre my daughter is in charges $52 per hour so, my costs are about $57 per hour.  It costs the province about $150 per hour to run the program through CHEO and should you choose direct service then 100% of that cost is covered.

Here are a few of the issues I see with this:

1 - It costs the province more to run the CHEO program than they provide to families to keep their children in centres they've been in for 2 plus years assuming they can afford to do this of course.  Trust me when I say most families make it a priority and fall heavily into debt because not getting their children the therapy is truly not an option.  I myself am in to the 10s of thousands of debt.

2 - The waiting list of 2 years means that your child needs to be diagnosed when the umbilical cord is cut in order to be provided the necessary therapy in the optimal window which begins at the age of 2.

3 - If they invested more for early intervention it would save significantly on the health care system when these children are adults as they'll be more functional adults than they would without the proper early intervention.

My thoughts on this?  Why not provide families with 100% coverage for private centers?  This option would likely result in the CHEO program being dismantled but, it makes sense.  It costs less and in turns saves everyone money.  Keep the CHEO option open to those who have no private centres available to them. This change would mean more money available to provide therapy at a reduced cost meaning the wait times are reduced without actually pumping more money into the system.

"A child with Autism is not ignoring you, they are waiting for you to enter their world."

- Unknown Author
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This sucks, I agree. We need a tax revolt in this country.

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