ST. THOMAS, ON – Patrick Brown, Ontario PC Leader, today met with families of children with autism in St. Thomas who thanked him for the work he has done to improve services for children with autism.
“Kathleen Wynne’s Liberals were ready to abandon Ontario’s children with autism and their families,” Brown said of the Liberal Government’s 2016 decision to reduce funding for autistic services and restrict IBI treatment to children under the age of 5.
“Thousands of Ontario families had waited for years for IBI treatment, which is considered an effective and life-changing treatment for many children,” said Brown. “But with one stroke of a pen, the Liberals ripped away any ounce of hope they had.”
Autism is the fastest growing and most commonly diagnosed neurological disorder in Canada. Ontario’s waiting list for autism services had grown to more than 16,000 by 2015 and studies show that 1 in 68 children in Canada fall somewhere in the autism spectrum.
Because of pressure from children with autism, their parents and the Ontario PC Party, the Wynne government reversed their position and restored funding and treatment options.
“The Ontario PC Party made the restoration of the Wynne Liberal cuts to autism funding and services a priority,” said Brown. “We listened and worked with parents, we fought day in and day out and I am very proud that we forced the government to do the right thing.”
“We had no one in our corner until Patrick Brown,” said Heidi Berdan, the mother of a child with autism. “He made restoring autism services a priority, and our family is incredibly grateful for his support and leadership.”