Re: Diagnoses may follow money, June 15 letters.
While I respect letter-writer Dr. Suzanne Jacobsen’s right to an opinion – and I cannot dispute some of the statistics, regarding autism – I must strongly disagree with her conclusions that autism treatment should be left with social workers and not health-care professionals.
The majority of families living with autism applaud the decision (Liberals laud autism support, June 3).
The former provincial NDP government and its ministry for children and families, social workers and some other service providers who made their living on our special-needs children did indeed oppose funding for families.
I have letters from several service providers who lobbied for years to prevent the funding we have today. Former justice Marion Allan actually noted, in the 2000 Auton judgment, her sadness at “the antipathy of (ministry workers) towards the parents” of children with autism. She also declared ABA/IBI “medically necessary treatment.”
It was the tireless advocacy over the last 20 years by a small, very determined group of parents that is responsible for the funding we have today. I was one of those parents.
Moving treatment for autism into the health-care system means children will receive as little, or as much, treatment as they need for their medical condition – as determined by a medical professional – not a social worker.
They will not simply be handed a lump sum – after several years of jumping through hoops for assessments and wasting away on wait lists – only to be left at the mercy of an even more complex, top-heavy and bureaucratic labyrinth.
This resolution was supported by thousands of families, and I am grateful to Dr. Sabrina Freeman, Jean Lewis, Dr. Melvin deLevie, Dr. Glen Davies, FEAT of BC and the South Surrey-White Rock Liberals – especially Paula Williams –who championed this lifesaving cause.
Debra Antifaev, Surrey
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Although I agree with letter-writer Dr. Suzanne Jacobsen that we need to continue to fight and explore the appropriate interventions – whether it is autism spectrum disorder in children or Alzheimer’s disease in our older population – I disagree with a one-dimensional approach to solving some of these problems.
We need to explore all appropriate interventions to improve the quality of life of all Canadians, young or old alike, through: education, diagnosis and treatment.
Dr. Syed Islam Haider, White Rock