Prime Minister Justin Trudeau with South Surrey resident Paula Williams at the convention

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau with South Surrey resident Paula Williams at the convention

Liberals celebrate autism backing

South Surrey-White Rock Federal Liberal Association president lauds ‘monumental step forward’

Local Liberals are celebrating this week following a vote in support of their call for publicly funded autism treatment.

“When made law, this will dramatically improve the lives of hundreds of thousands of Canadians affected by autism and their families,” Paula Williams, a South Surrey resident who presented the resolution Friday at the Liberals’ national convention in Winnipeg, said Tuesday in a news release.

Williams was among members of the South Surrey-White Rock Federal Liberal Association who travelled to Winnipeg to advocate for autism treatment to be covered under the Canada Health Act.

Association president Bill Brooks described amendment of the act to include applied behavioral analysis for autism spectrum disorder as “long overdue.”

According to Autism Speaks Canada, one in 68 Canadian children have been diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder.

Peninsula families have long advocated for the costly ABA treatment to be covered. Based on positive reinforcement, it teaches behaviour and socially useful skills through small, measurable units.

Following last week’s support in Winnipeg, SSWRFLA officials are optimistic.

A “monumental step forward was made for thousands of children with autism,” Brooks said by email.