Rallies were held in several communities across Ontario, including Woodstock and St. Thomas, to push the province to implement a new autism funding system immediately.
After asking to take a CTV News reporter's microphone into his hands, nine-year-old Jefferson Buck summed up the frustrations experienced by autistic children across the Ontario.
“I haven’t gotten support since I was two. I stay on the waitlist.”
Jefferson’s mother Shawna Buck says 1,820 days have passed as her son waits for autism therapy services, “It’s heartbreaking,” she adds.
Buck joined a small group in Woodstock, Ont. protesting autism funding levels in Ontario.
It was one of several protests being held across the province Tuesday, in front of the conti constituency offices of PC MPPs
At another protest in St. Thomas, Ont., 31-year-old Elsbeth Dodson was speaking into a megaphone to be heard.
"I'm autistic, and I'm still here,” she told the crowd.
Dodson says adults and children have been waiting long enough to have proper access to autism therapy and personal support services.
She says the recent changes, announced by Ontario Social Services Minister Todd Smith, are not enough.
Smith has acknowledged the province erred in moving to a program with funding based only on age and family income, instead of a need-based program.
The minister says a taskforce will implement the $600-million plan by April 2020.
"To be asked to continue to wait, for something that might be better, is of cold comfort to people, like myself, that have been waiting most of our lives, “ Dodson says.