17 September 2009

Olympics clearly more important than autistic kids

Why thank you, Mr. Campbell you sonofabitch.

"The B.C. Children's Ministry will stop funding a high-cost treatment program for 70 autistic children in order to give more money to about 800 autistic children in regular programs."

Um, CBC, why are you reporting their backpedalling as fact? The fact is, they're cutting a major program for autistic kids. The best program in the province.

"The government will drop the $5-million early intervention program in January. In April, the amount of money provided to families with autistic children under age six will increase to $22,000 a year from $20,000."

Oh, this is just a big fuck you, that's what this is. The incoming HST is going to end up sucking back all of that!

"She said the ministry found little difference in progress among children in the intensive program and those in regular treatment.

"We have to look at the outcomes and when it comes to what was occurring … we were not seeing any appreciable improvements in the outcomes for those kids.""

I'd like to see these alleged studies. What kind of bullshit study shows that 13 extra hours per week of intense therapy don't actually help? Perhaps ones funded by the group that would really like to cut the funding for that program! Talk to any of the parents of those kids. Talk to all the parents of kids waiting patiently for that program.

"Autism funding for children and youth from six to 18 years old remains the same, at $6,000 a year, she said."

And that amounts to a 7% cut because of the HST.

Good thing we can spend BILLIONS of dollars on the fucking Olimpdicks, but autistic kids can just go to hell. And you know, you can't say, "Oh, but it wouldn't have been spent on that anyway", because this is a cut, not just a refusal to fund.

Do you know what options a person in Victoria has for their autistic kid? A program called Little Steps or hiring employees of their own. Little Steps handles the paperwork for you, but is expensive. Hiring one's own employees is a paperwork NIGHTMARE, and getting the government to reimburse you for your expenses is crazy.

I don't know if I've mentioned it, but I have a kid (possibly two, depending on the outcome of Monday's meeting) with Autism. This funding cut affects me directly. My son was on the waitlist for the cut program. I was seriously looking forward to him getting into the program. It's not that I don't like his interventionist (she's phenomenal) but right now, he gets 6 1/2 hours per week. Getting him into a 20hr/week program would have been amazing for him. I've seen the good work they do in other kids. So okay, now I don't get to put him in the best program, but we've still got the other program. And what's happening there? They're being flooded with calls. They're going to be so overloaded, I am positive the level of care will go down until they can adapt. And since Crackle (my son - if you haven't figured out the naming conventions, they're Snap - 14 year old girl, Crackle - 3.5 year old boy, and Pop, 6 month old boy who looks like an old man because of his silly hair and wrinkles) only has 6.5 hours per week, and only has until he's 6, we can't really afford for his care to go down in quality. He's nigh on impossible to handle with two adults around. With one, and Pop? Hard. Very very hard. And he's not terribly severe. I cannot imagine how the parents of the kids who are already in the program are feeling today. They must feel like they've been punched.

I really and truly need to get Gordon Campbell's ear for a while. And Minister Polak. Bastards. They truly don't see what harm they're doing. Either that or they just don't care. And if that's the case, I hope they rot in hell.