GUELPH POLITICAST #324 – Remember Autism?

Back in the early days of the Ontario government under Doug Ford it looked like their autism policy might sink them. Their initial approach to funding and support for kids with autism had the effect of uniting the entire autism lobby against them, and then the pandemic happened, and all of healthcare – from emergency to long-term care – was thrown under the microscope. So where are we on the autism file?

Back in 2019, Ontario’s new PC government had a very PC idea: Give parents a lump sum annually and let them find the care they need. The problem is that some children on the spectrum need a lot more care than a small annual stipend can provide, and that fact riled up parents who were already used to years of struggle and toil to get government assistance. They were angry.

Meanwhile at Queen’s park, there have been three different government ministers tasked to manage the autism file in the last four years, forcing the parents of children with autism to constantly start again. And then as the Province was mostly pre-occupied with the pandemic, the wait list for autism therapy grew to 53,000 people. So it’s no wonder why parents like Angela Brandt, president of the Ontario Autism Coalition, want change this election.

Brandt joins us on this week’s podcast to talk about the fight for autism funding, and how the pandemic affected both the kids and the advocacy on their behalf. We also talk about whether any of the parties have a good autism policy in their platform, and how candidates can best earn the vote of people worried about autism spending. Also, Brandt will discuss the difficulty of raising awareness during a pandemic, and how the coalition is hoping to change minds and make autism a priority before June 2.

So let’s give autism some attention on this week’s Guelph Politicast!

If you want to learn more about the Ontario Autism Coalition, you can visit their website. If you want to follow their advocacy, or lend your support to the cause, use the hashtag #50KisNotOK on social media.

If you’re interested in hearing from the candidates, we’re hosting all the Guelph candidates over the next couple of weeks on Open Sources Guelph, and we will also be hosting the candidates in the riding next door in the Wellington-Halton Hills Politicast on Saturdays.

The host for the Guelph Politicast is Podbean. Find more episodes of the Politicast here, or download them on your favourite podcast app at Apple, StitcherGoogle, TuneIn and Spotify .

Also, when you subscribe to the Guelph Politicast channel and you will also get an episode of Open Sources Guelph every Monday, and an episode of End Credits every Friday.\

Photo courtesy of the Ontario Autism Coalition Facebook page.

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