Ontario school principals say their staff lack the necessary medical and professional training to deal with autistic children who could be spending more time in classrooms due to recent changes to government funding for therapy. In a joint letter to Education Minister Lisa Thompson, three associations representing principals at Ontario’s English, Catholic and French boards, say the changes announced last month will mean many students will be spending less time in therapy with trained professionals. The groups said that if the necessary resources aren’t made available to schools to trains staff and accommodate the students’ needs by April 1st, the government should delay the program changes.
The Canadian Press
From the CBC:
Under the changes, which come into effect on April 1, families whose children have autism will receive a budget in order to choose the services they want. Children under six are eligible for up to $20,000 a year, to a maximum of $140,000. Children over six get up to $5,000 a year up to the age of 18, with a maximum of $55,000. However, only families that earn less than $55,000 a year will qualify for the full amounts. The changes have some families bracing themselves for less government support this spring since intensive therapy for a child with severe autism can cost upwards of $80,000 a year.
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— Lisa MacLeod (@MacLeodLisa) February 7, 2019