CHARLOTTETOWN — Island NDP Leader Mike Redmond is calling on the provincial government to stop “short-changing” services to children with autism.
October is Autism Awareness Month.
“In 2010, this government rolled out the Autism Action Plan to great fanfare. Since then, a few of the 37 recommendations have been acted on, many have been ignored and some actions have been started and then rescinded,” said Redmond. “This Liberal government’s record on autism services is not something to be proud of.”
He added that the president of P.E.I.’s Autism Society says services are under-funded, and that the amount being spent in schools is considerably less than stated by the Minister of Education and Early Childhood Development.
“This indicates a serious discrepancy that needs to be addressed.”
The Department of Education and Early Childhood Development is beginning a review of autism services in Island schools, but problems have been evident since the Action Plan was first introduce, added Redmond.
“This government is notorious for under-resourcing schools and cutting back on staff positions. This type of cost cutting negatively impacts on the services educators can offer all students, and creates more classroom composition concerns for teachers and support staff,” said the NDP leader. “Among those most affected by this under-funding policy are individuals with autism spectrum disorder, and their families.”
Redmond said an NDP government would end the cuts to Island schools.
“All of our children deserve fully-funded programming throughout our school system.”