Niagara mother says new autism funding plan is devastating

A Niagara mother calls the Ontario government's new autism funding plan a drop in the bucket.

The Ontario Autism Coalition says the plan announced by Social Services Minister Lisa MacLeod yesterday falls far short of what parents need.

Grimsby's Carly Robson, who's son has autism says the PC government's plan is devastating to her family.

Robson says annual therapy costs to care for her 3 year old son Evan could reach over $50,000 and while she will continue to make financial sacrifices for her son, the news is devastating.

"I really thought there was no where to go but up, but I was truly shocked. I didn't think we would see a perfect program, but I truly thought it would go in a different direction. We have even had the President of the Ontario Autism Coalition resign over this. That shows how devastating this announcement is."

The changes include giving funding for treatment directly to families instead of regional service providers.

The funding is dependent on age, with up to $140,000 for a child in treatment from the ages of two to 18.

Families will receive up to $20,000 a year until their child turns six, and $5,000 a year thereafter.

But the Ontario Autism Coalition says intensive therapy can cost between $60,000 and $80,000 a year.

Bruce McIntosh, the former president of the Ontario Autism Coalition, resigned from his PC post yesterday following the announcement.

He will join CKTB's Larry Fedoruk at 5:15 to explain his frustration over the new funding formula.