Steelcitygrit [in exile]

Ruminating on all things Canadian and political.

 

Friday, July 07, 2006

Ontario "wins", Ontarians lose

Restrained jubiliation today as the ruling is handed down. No longer will the parents of children over six years with autism piggyback off of us hardworking, honest types.

Now, it isn't all good news. The children are still able to access the social and health services they need - after their parents surrender them to Children's Aid Societies. So to my compatriots at the National Post I say: it is a bittersweet victory. Make no mistake - we haven't yet reduced Canada to a pre-Hobbesian state of nature. Much work still lies ahead of us.

Perhaps the Canadian Taxpayers Federation should mark this as another national holiday - "Freedom From Helping People With Serious Medical Special Needs Day." I can imagine the gradiosity of the tickertape parades now. After all - some things are worth spending money on.


On a serious note, when I'm Prime Minister I'm going to levy a head tax on every card-carrying member of the CTF. Let some other PM apologize for me 100 years later.

16 Comments:

Blogger Dennis said...

A letter I wrote to our Premier -

=====================



Mr. McGuinty,

I don't even know where to start. I fully expect to receive a typical form letter response to this e-mail, if any response.

I am writing in regards to the Supreme Court's ruling on cutting off treatment for autistic children over six. Your Government appealed a lower court ruling compelling the Ontario Government to provide this funding.

I am a lifelong Provincial Progressive Conservative supporter that decided, on the occasion of the last election, to vote Liberal because of YOUR promise to look after the interests of autistic children. Had you kept that promise, I more than likely would have looked upon the Provincial Liberal Party in a new light. Howerver, upon subsequent reflection of that choice, I find that I have made a very grave error that has had grave consequences for my family; one member in particular. You can rest assured that I, and members of my family will henceforth NEVER vote Liberal again.

I find it sadly ironic that you and your Government would choose to fight the provision of this treatment to autistic children, yet would do NOTHING concrete and substantial when it comes to violent crimes being commited by First Nation's people in Caledonia on other citizens; all while being committed directly in front of the Ontario Provincial Police.

In conclusion Mr McGuinty, I find you and your Government to be of the most untrustworthy sort, completley unworthy of the office of Premier and the responsibility of providing good Government to the citizens of this Province. It has been through your dubious term as Premier that I must say that I am deeply ashamed to call myself and Ontarian.

12:39 PM  
Blogger s.b. said...

Autistic parents want the province to pay for unproven one on one behavioural conditioning. This is not education and it is highly questionable as treatment.

Parents should never have to surrender their children, but group homes are a much more effective way to monitor severe special needs individuals while giving parents a break.

And what do these parents think will happen to their severely disabled children when they are no longer able to care for them, other than they will be placed in care?

I needed phsio and massage therapy for a severe back problem that could have incapacitated me and put me on disability for the rest of my life. You know what, I paid for it.

Behavioural conditioning as a treatment for autism is much more expensive aprox $50,000 per year per child, less proven and efficatious and cost reducing than chiropractic, physio or massage all of which are not covered by provincial health care.

If parents want special "training" for their children they can pay for it, just like hockey lessons, or physio therapy. All children are entitled to education in the public system, and parents can access relief programs, but not one on one training at 50 grand a year.

Sorry.

3:10 PM  
Blogger Dennis said...

And you too, SB, I don't even know where to start. IBI isn't education. This isn't mere "training" as you are alluding to and it is hardly "unproven" or "questionable".

This program has worked wonders for our six year old son, as well as for the children of many, many parent's that I know personally. Our son's learning rate has TRIPLED since he started 2 years ago.

Perhaps you should obtain the facts concerning this treatment before you post. Dr. Tom Managhan, the doctor in charge of our son's case quoted to us that this treatment only fails for 20% and less; and that includes the lowest functioning of those on the austistic spectrum. Oh, you DID know that there was a range to this disorder, right? Because it seems to me that your definition of autism is completley lacking in scope.

And you are a teacher? Being a teacher wouldn't you welcome the opportunity to learn new skills from IBI workers that could benifit you and autistic children in the class? You speak of the education system. From personal experience watching many teachers deal with autistic children, they could DEFINELTY benifit from specialized training in this area. The resistance we have met from teachers and principals is staggering. Wouldn't you say that its unfortunate that the gap between the Ministry of Social Services and the Ministry of Education prevents a smoother transistion into the school system where children can receive both the education and life skills training necessary to learn towards functioning fully?

No, parents shouldn't have to surrender their children, but that is not all we are talking about here. You are going under the assumption (again) that many children who are autistic grow up to be totally non-functioning to the point that they need complete institutional care all of the time. That is simply not the case.

And what do these parents think will happen to their severely disabled children when they are no longer able to care for them, other than they will be placed in care?

This is totally and completley irrelevant. What has that got to do with IBI? I have seen and spoken to so many parents who have seen the prognisis for their children change for the better dramatically because of this program; from those being totally non-verbal, to those that couldn't even use a toilet.

Ok then. Let me put it to you this way. You pay taxes. Lets say you have cancer. You are in the middle of treatment and you reach the age of 60, and they tell you "the treatment has worked so far, however, the window of opportunity for recovery closes for SOME people over that age, so therefore we are halting treatment. Sorry about your luck". This, in essence, is what they are telling us about IBI treatment and our son. Is that a realistic reason to cancel a treatment that is working?

Behavioural conditioning as a treatment for autism is much more expensive aprox $50,000 per year per child, less proven and efficatious and cost reducing than chiropractic, physio or massage all of which are not covered by provincial health care.

Ok, how the HELL does your physio or HOCKEY LESSONS (???!!!) compare to the life skills functioning of CHILDREN? Sorry, but get over yourself. Considering that you believe that a bloated $2 million gun registry that is over budget in the factor by the hundreds is worth it if it even saves one life, I find your stance on this to be, quite frankly, completley hypocritical. But I've come to expect that from you, as always.

4:33 PM  
Anonymous Mezba said...

I have a relative whose kid suffers from Autism. They are Australian and the province/state where they live funds this treatment, and it has worked wonders for the kid. I would rather the province fund this kind of treatment for those that need it rather than spending billions on changing trillium logos. And SB, if you genuinely had a back problem that required massages, I would rather the gov pay for that as well.

5:41 PM  
Blogger s.b. said...

wonders means what please? Its behavioural conditioning. I've seen it.

Its not education and at 50 000 per child per year is too expensive for the public to pay for and the courts agree with me.

Sorry.

6:56 PM  
Anonymous Mezba said...

Wonders =
- the person is now toilet trained. Imagine a 26 year old in diapers, not knowing when to go and when not to. How hard it was for the parents.
- the person is now in sync with reality. They can interact with other people, not get angry easily on something small, and can work simple jobs such as in the library, a receptionist at a dentist's or even be a tour guide at a museum. All jobs which my relative's kid has now done.
-50K is peanuts compared to the money the gov misspends. They can pay for bogus consultancy (I m thinking the TO Unlimited tourist campaign), be in an illegal war, change the logo of the province unnecessarily.. and so on. The money is there. 50K is not too expensive.

8:40 AM  
Blogger Carrie said...

It is much more helpful hearing from someone like Dennis, who has personal knowledge of all aspects of this. I have to wonder whether the government even heard stories like his. Too often, a blind eye is turned to save money today. That only results in much greater expense down the road. Not to mention the damage to the family and the lack of care for the child.

Cutting the funding was a bad move, for the children, the parents and our society.

9:05 AM  
Blogger Dennis said...

Its behavioural conditioning. I've seen it.

So what? So have we. We LIVE it day in and day out, hour by hour, minute, by minute. We LIVE this program with our son, at home, at school, in public. We're involved in practically every aspect of it. I seriously doubt that you having "seen it" means you are more qualified than I am to say whether it is too expensive or not, whether its worth it or not, whether it works or not.

And what is so wrong with behavioral conditioning if it helps autistic children learn to use the toilet, learn how to function in groups, or to greatly reduce self stimulation as a coping method? There are so many ways this program has helped people like my son; I could write out an exhaustive list.

Its not education and at 50 000 per child per year is too expensive for the public to pay for and the courts agree with me.

I'll say this again, because you don't seem to be getting it - NO ONE EVER CLAIMED IT WAS EDUCATION, because we know its not. It is a treatment method. How many other treatments for other ailments also cost this much or more?

You say it is to too expensive, but again, you've agreed with a severely bloated gun registry over budgeted by hundreds of times if it saves even one life, but in this case, its "NO" when it comes to a treament program that has shown conclusivley that it has worked for so many children. That a is completley hypocritical stance on your part.

Really, I don't know why I bother. You are obviously not going to change you mind. Perhaps if you had a child that was autistic, you would feel and believe differently if you saw how this program has helped so mnay others. The courts have been wrong before, and they are wrong now. Sorry.

12:34 PM  
Blogger Dennis said...

Wonders means what please?

How about -

- potty training
- attention span
- relating to others
- plays skills
- reducation in sensory issues
- alternative methods to self stimulation as a coping method
- emotion regulation
- turn taking
- learning to adapt to change in routine
- expressing needs
- basic hygiene
- appropriate social interaction

As I've said, I can go on all day. All these are things that you, I, and non-autistic children take for granted every day. No, as I've said, its NOT education. These are things that they need to be taught painstakingly, step-by-step; things that they could never get in school, things they need before they can even BEGIN school.

Unfortunatley, not every parent has the access to the kind of money needed for this treatment, nor do many even have the knowledge and education to be able to teach these basic things the way that autistic children need learn because of the different way they process information.

So when you speak of wonders, when you see that your 8 year old child who couldn't even use the toilet, speak, be able to get a hair cut without having a complete emotional meltdown, tolerate a shirt made of a certain material because of serious sensory issues, engage in a basic conversation......then yeah, those are indeed wonders.

12:50 PM  
Blogger Sholdice said...

Mike, the CTF comment is something that proves you are a genius.

They will have their backs against the wall when the revolution comes.

7:36 AM  
Blogger Justin Tetreault said...

The courts made the right decision here.

The government needs to have the right to set policy decisions about what they want to spend money on.

This treatment is shown to be effective for those 2-5, so it only makes sense that at age 6, people have to move on.

People are saying $50,000 isn't a lot of money, but it's $50,000 per person. So potetially, it could add up to tens or hundreds of millions of dollars. That's much too expensive for a treatment that has a 20% failure rate.

northernontarioliberal.blogspot.com

9:10 AM  
Blogger Dennis said...

The government needs to have the right to set policy decisions about what they want to spend money on.

Like what, sex change operations?

This treatment is shown to be effective for those 2-5, so it only makes sense that at age 6, people have to move on.

Move on? To what? "Shown"? Where? And how would you know it won't be effective past age six, when parents of autistic children are fighting to make it possible in the FIRST PLACE?

My son turned six in March. Because of this program, he has come a long, long way. Yet, his treatment team still has clear and critically identified goals that he can still accomplish that only his IBI team can help make happen. So the callousness of your comment to "move on" greatly disturbs me, because many of these children are where he is at.

My son is on the cusp of gradual transitition into the school system, however, that is threatened because of the termination of his treatment. Just cold turkey, no more, get out. Sorry, my family just won't let that stand.

People are saying $50,000 isn't a lot of money, but it's $50,000 per person. So potetially, it could add up to tens or hundreds of millions of dollars.

And what do you think the cost of care over the course of a lifetime is going to be for many of those children who were benifiting from the treatment, yet despite that, will have their treatment terminated?

That's much too expensive for a treatment that has a 20% failure rate.

So YOU say, but do YOU have an autistic child? Walk a mile in a parent's shoes, and then we'll see if you think its too expensive for a treatment that is working for YOUR child.

And would you say the same thing if it was YOU who, god forbid, were suffering from cancer and were receiving a treatment with an 80% success rate? I seriously doubt it. The fact is, this treament works. My son is living testament to that. Many autistic children are.

McGuinty made it clear (obviously not) that he supported the need of IBI, to look after the interests of autistic children, and that the age cut off was DISCRIMINATORY. Now he is FIGHTING the provision of that treatment. Thus your Liberal Premier is a liar and a hypocrite. I say "YOURS", because this veritable piece of **** is no Premier of mine.

5:09 AM  
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