Smiths Falls councillors endorse autism treatment resolution

Posted on: December 6, 2016

Chris Must

Smiths Falls councillors have voted to endorse a resolution from the Town of Shelburne calling on the provincial government to restore funding for a treatment program for children with autism.

According to the resolution, autism spectrum disorder affects one in 94 children, making it the most common neurological disorder.

The resolution states that the province of Ontario has announced plans to discontinue intensive behaviour intervention (IBI) treatment for children over the age of four, “thereby abandoning thousands who have been wait-listed for years.”

Supporters of the resolution are sending letters to several provincial ministers and to Premier Kathleen Wynne requesting the province to amend its policy to allow all children on the waiting list for IBI therapy to receive the service. The province had intended to discontinue the services and provide a one-time payment instead.

Councillor Jay Brennan commented that although this issue is outside the municipal government purview, “We don’t live in a vacuum.”