New action plan in hand, the Couillard government will be committed to providing better support for people with autism and their loved ones.
A plan covering the period 2017-2022 was to be submitted by the end of the last year. It has not been, but it is now ready.
It should finally be unveiled this week. It includes some thirty measures.
It was developed in the wake of the first Quebec Forum on Spectrum Disorder in Autism, held in February 2016. It stretches over five years, beyond the current mandate of the government of Philippe Couillard.
In concrete terms, according to information, Lucie Charlebois’s plan for the Minister for Rehabilitation and Public Health aims to reduce by almost half the number of children aged 5 and under who are on a In order to benefit from the so-called “intensive behavioral intervention program”.
Currently, nearly 1200 children aged 5 and under are on this list.
In this plan, the government is committed to providing respite, care and babysitting services to all families with children with autism spectrum disorder by 2022. The waiting list for these services will be reduced to zero, promises.
Concretely, nearly 700 new families are expected to benefit from improved support, according to government data. Some may require two days of respite per month; Others every week.
Community organizations will be eligible for ad hoc financial support to enable them to create these new respite places and related services.
Quebec also wants to “systematically” assign a “pivotal advocate” to each child once a diagnosis has determined that he or she is suffering from an autism spectrum disorder. Currently, this measure is neither widespread nor systematic.
These actors must act as facilitators for obtaining government services. This is to avoid many tedious administrative procedures.
The government also intends to ensure continuity of services after childhood and adolescence in order to “promote integration at work or other types of activities”.
It is said that people need to be supported to pursue their life projects, whether they are entering a university or other types of training. It is also necessary to help them in their “residential integration,” whether they live with relatives or live alone. For some of these, a “supervised apartment” could be a solution.
The spectrum of autism is very broad. The profiles are diverse. People may be autonomous and others more severely affected. The state must adapt to the needs of each individual, postulates the plan.
The information obtained by Le Soleil does not include budgets.
The Auditor General of Quebec has already called on the Quebec government to act better and earlier on autistic people.
Under the government of Pauline Marois, Véronique Hivon, described as a “tsunami” the sharp increase in cases of autistic children in Quebec. She had indicated that her priority would be to reduce waiting lists for services.
“It has doubled for 10 years every four years,” said the former minister in January 2014. “We are 1% of children diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder.”
The number and type of symptoms, their severity and timing vary from person to person, it was recalled last year at the Autism Spectrum Disorder Forum By Minister Lucie Charlebois. Difficulties in behavior, communication and social interactions, however, are common manifestations of autism.