Age: 8
Provincial Riding: Whitby
My son is an amazing eight year that has made so many gains since being in IBI therapy but he still faces so many daily challenges He has a diagnoses of autism and developmental disability delay, and functions on a 30-48 level, is verbal but with non-functional speech. With access to IBI therapy, he has come along way and can make requests much easier than three years but we have a long way to go. We still struggle with many many daily living skills. He has a feeding disorder and still at the age of 8, cannot chew solids. There are so many more skills he has yet to attain and although he attends school part-time, he is no where ready to attend it full-time. An example , if he runs out of water while at school, he is basically going without. He is limited due to fine and gross motor skills. The change the OAP and lack of support in school, itís basically like water being taken away from a chlld. He canít fill up his own water bottle and itís not from lack of trying. There are some skills that take longer to learn. I donít think FordNation truly gets what they have done. Itís little things like filling up a water bottle that is huge in our world that unless it affects one personnally, wouldnít even cross ones mind. Well itís a problem. And it it doesnt stop at water. I donít think I need to provide a definition of autism to have one fully understand. The school is not prepared and nor does he have sufficient support to gain accesss to a proper education. Not to mention itís also a health and safety issue for many reasons. Ibi is our life line and without, he will not be able to live independently on his own. I donít think I need to go into all the details of how it has benefited him because itís a given but when my son started, he couldnít count, write his name, didnt know his phone number or address, couldnít read nor could he dress himself. He now addresses people and says hello to them. Heís more aware of his surroundings. He loves being around people and tries desperately to play with his peers and with help of his therapist is being taught to engage and socialize properly.
We then take those skills home,to school, to events and we all worked as a team to generalize them. We donít just sit back and let IBI works itís magic. There is a whole team of people involved but IBI gave us the tools we needed to make it happen, but it doesnít happen overnight. IT NEVER STOPS!! We as parents never stop. The kids donít get a break. I donít think FordNation realizes this. My child deserves a full life. The oap can be a sustainable program and tons of work has gone into presenting options. We just need a chance to come to the table and work with FordNation to make it happen. It can benefit all 100%. We need to ďpause the planĒ as this abrupt stop in service is going to have a negative impact on my son who already has an issue with transition to begin with. There will be regression and behaviors that I will not be able to help him with. This change to the OAP will never assist my son in getting the intensity of therapy he currently requires.
We urge the government to reconsider. I fear for my sonís life which is why I will never stop fighting for it.

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