Meeting with MPP about autism funding

Meeting with MPP about autism funding

Photo Copyright AutismDATA.org

Yesterday I had the pleasure of meeting with my MPP Ted Arnott, along with some other parents of autistic children in our community. My goal was to inform and empower the MPP with information about the developmental approach and how important it is to offer CHOICE for families–especially when ABA isn’t appropriate. I also encouraged Mr. Arnott to listen to the voices of autistics in policy making, such as A4A Ontario.

Thank you, Mr. Arnott, for taking the time to hear about families’ need for CHOICE in supports and therapies for autism in Ontario, and how essential providing adequate financial support is for families. And if anyone in Ontario is a care provider who wants to join our cause, please sign the petition here.

Changes in the Ontario Autism Program

Changes in the Ontario Autism Program

The Ontario government announced changes to the Ontario Autism Program last week that caps the amount of money families can receive for their children’s services. Families are concerned about this but our greater concern is the type of services that are being presented to families.

The overwhelming focus of services still revolves around behavioural intervention such as Applied Behavioural Analysis (ABA). The Developmental approaches are not only more favourable to autistic self-advocates, but they are significantly more cost effective.

We will continue to advocate for developmental approach services and supports such as services delivered under the umbrella of the Developmental, Individual differences, Relationship-based (DIR) model including Floortime, which parents can learn quite quickly and be supported through parent coaching, as research demonstrates.

We encourage residents of Ontario to contact your local MPPs and advocate for real CHOICE in autism supports and services, which includes developmental approaches that focus on play-based interactions facilitating relating, communicating, and thinking over behavioural approaches that focus on compliance and shaping behaviour without understanding or addressing the cause of the behaviour.

Negotiating the Meaning of ‘Evidence Based’ Autistic Programming: A Survey

Negotiating the Meaning of ‘Evidence Based’ Autistic Programming: A Survey

An student in his 4th undergrad degree in Ontario is doing research on expertise and autism, and why self-advocates seem shut out of the conversation. Autistic people and organizations, as well as most non-ABA community organizations and providers, were categorically excluded from consultations for the Ontario Autism Program. If you were one of them, please take the survey. Please see for the informed consent form and questions.

Meetings with MPs

Meetings with MPs

Photo Copyright AutismDATA.org

Earlier today I had the pleasure of meeting with Alberta MP, Mike Lake, father of an autistic young adult and advocate for autism support. We discussed how we can bring autism communities together to improve supports and services for all across Canada and I provided him with some information about and links to developmental approach organizations. Thank you for all of your work, Mike!
Thank you as well to my MP, Michael Chong, for taking the time last month to hear about families’ need for CHOICE in supports and therapies for autism when discussing a National Autism Strategy in Ottawa.

Photo Copyright AutismDATA.org

Submit your questions by May 2nd for Ontario’s Autism strategy!

Submit your questions by May 2nd for Ontario’s Autism strategy!

We have another chance to be heard by the government! Even if your question is not chosen, the more questions we send will send a message to this government: We want CHOICE in approaches to autism therapy. Ask a question like, “When will parents have a choice in therapy such as more cost-effective, parent-mediated models like Floortime and other developmental approaches?” PLEASE submit your questions immediately… we only have a 24-hour window for this event!

In partnership with the Ontario Autism Coalition, Autism Ontario is inviting people to join them on May 3rd @ 8:00 PM for our Autism Supports Discussion at the St. Lawrence Centre for the Arts.

They say, “We want our government to commit to keeping Autism Spectrum Disorder on the agenda in Ontario. Be there! Let your voice be heard!”

Featured speakers include:

  • Michael Coteau, the Ontario Liberal Party
  • Christine Elliott, the Progressive Conservative Party of Ontario
  • Monique Taylor, the Ontario New Democratic Party
  • TBD, the Green Party of Ontario

Discussion moderated by Joe McDonald LL.B., Past President Autism Ontario Board of Directors

Click here to submit your questions. Questions can be submitted until Midnight on Wednesday, May 2nd.

This event will be streamed live for those who are unable to attend in person. Stay tuned for more details.

Autism Acceptance

Autism Acceptance

April is Autism Awareness month but Autistics for Autistics (A4A) promote Autism Acceptance. They raised their own flag on Tuesday in Toronto for autistic pride. Members gave excellent speeches and had some good conversations with City representatives and some members of Autism Ontario.

Their signs read, “Non-compliance is a social skill” (my personal favourite), “Nothing about us without us”, “I don’t need to be solved” (crossing out the puzzle piece logo), “Red instead: Neurodiverse” (opposing the blue used by Autism Speaks), “Loud Hands”, and “Not a disease. Not an epidemic.”

We share much in common with A4A including a demand for supports beyond “behavioural services for children” by this Ontario government. Please sign the petition under the PETITION tab to add your name to the list for CHOICE in funding for services and sign up for updates about supports that are respectful, supporting authentic development over behavioural compliance.