The triage department

Earlier, we reported provincial New Democrat children and family development critic Maurine Karagianis would be asking a question about the shutdown of the government's early intensive behavioural intervention program for autistic children. But that didn't happen - even though it's been six days since the decision was announced. So what did? We asked Ms. Karagianis following question period.

16 Comments

Nice try by the former Ministrial Assistant to the 1990s BCNDP Social Services Ministry. Nice.

Let's remember she and the BCNDP didn't do much for autistic people. Quite frankly, close to nothing except via court fights.

and that justifies turning back the clock how?

say fast ferries fudgit budget three times fast and this will all go away...

I notice that Josef K is consistent in his support of the Campbell Crony Capitalism Party, and also invariably first in line with a comment on the stories, so, unless he can convince me otherwise, I am assuming he is an employee of the PAB, and will consider his remarks in that light.

Andy, my point is Maurine Karagianis, MLA better tread real carefully because she has no right to give lectures to Minister Polak, MLA about anything related to social services. She had her chance. She did not act.

That said, I will acknowledge that there were only three PacifiCats. That justifies only three terms. :-)!

Oh and the fudged budget of 1996 met the optimist budget of 2009 as far as I'm concerned Andy. I would have planned for the worst last spring and said point-blank to British Columbians it's a tough call, but your call.

wstander: Why don't you ask for all the web histories and IP addresses of this infamous PAB via FOIA? I'm sure you won't find "Josef K" logging in Typepad in them. I betcha!

It is people like you that make it necessary to have red alerts when this blog updates... and lazy BCLibs who don't know how to debate or take the greatness that is liberty for granted... that make it necessary for me to debate you.

I'm sick of hearing people talk about these 70 children like these children are responsible for the hording all this therapy. It's not just 70 children. It is 70 children at any time. Thoughout the year at QA children graduate and children enter the program and every parent has the ability to put their children 5 and under with a diagnosis of autism on the waitlist.

As a parent of two autistic children, I would have sold everything and lived in a van to have my children go through this program when their spot became available to them.

My older son will be 5 in December. He has been in this program since he was 19 months old. As his mother, I didn't know if he would EVER talk, look a person in the eye, ever have the skills to feed or clothe or bathe himself...never mind have ANY appropriate social skills. He hated to be held and I didn't change one diaper without being kicked in his life. Both of my children were VERY aggressive and I had the bruises to prove it. The meltdowns in public were something noone can understand unless you have witnessed it.

Today, my (almost) 5 year old has entered into the public school system WITHOUT his own one on one worker. How much money will be saved by this and future gov'ts? My 3 and a half year old has just entered a public preschool WITHOUT the aid of a worker. So I'm sitting here wondering where the appreciation is? These children are completely different children than they were when they entered this program. I have children who DO NOT stop talking, or hugging me and each other. They have mastered the bathroom routine and they have friends. Neuro-typical friends. They join in at parks and playgrounds. The express their emotions, have amazing imaginary play abilities and the aggresiveness is so much better, it's hard for me to remember exactly how bad it was. My boys understand jokes. They argue with me. They know when they have hurt someones feelings and understand what it means to say sorry.
They come running up to me at the end of their day with so much enthusism! They tell me they missed me. Tell me what they did, what they learned, they thank their AI's for playing with them.

I get told EVERYWHERE I go ~sometimes more than once a day~ what lovely, polite boys I have. I get praise from complete strangers in grocery store lineups on what a good parent I am. People DON'T BELIEVE ME when I tell them they have autism. People who don't get to see them regularily can't believe the improvements they see as well as people who only see them every few weeks, like their grandparents, are continually amazed in the progress they see every few weeks.

This program has given me the most amazing gift any mother could ever get. It has given me a chance to actually be a mother. Not just a care giver to two children who did not miss me or even notice if I had left a room or not. They taught me as a parent, how to interact with my children and understand their needs.

I am not in this fight to get this decision of funding cuts reversed for MY children. I am in this fight BECAUSE of my children. BECAUSE of the transformation my children have gone through. I am here to fight to keep these programs up and running for the children who have just entered these programs. For the children on the waitlists for these programs. For the children who haven't recieved their diagnoses yet as well as the children not yet concieved.

Make NO MISTAKE. Any gov't can find money when it wants to. I have an idea, how about we stop spending money on things like watering townships grass when we residents aren't even allowed... how about -dare I say- charging people to park in mall parking lots instead of hospitals? There are a lot more malls than hospitals now anyway, this would prove extremely cost effective. These ideas are just off the top of my head as I try to type as fast as the words are coming to me.

I'm sure there are a ton of spelling errors and gramatically incorrect sentences in my little reply here, but I am just so appauled that some people can actually justify funding cuts to special needs essential services such as these programs. I mean, I really could go on and on...

At any rate, as a mother, I am worried for other children who need this essential service. As a human, I am deeply embarrassed of the example we are setting for future generations.

Sincerely
Cher Sherwood
(Crofton and Everett's Voice)

Josef, you're p***ing in the wind. Give it a break.

Astro, get stuffed until you have facts. Thank you.

Cher, I totally agree with everything you said! I too, am completely embarrassed....
The government would like the public to believe that we're a priviledged and spoiled bunch of whining parents. They have no idea what we really go through in a day, and the sacrifices necessary to get our kids the minimum of what they are entitled to as citizens of this province. In the name of equity, which is the Minister's new frontline position, should our kids not have the same rights as other children? To be prepared for school, to be on a regular cirriculum? To graduate high school so they can get a job and not turn to alternatives (crime, addiction)? Not to mention the ability to simply socialize?
I have a neighbour that is the supervisor of guards at a local juvenile detention facility. THIS MATTER HAS BEEN BROUGHT UP IN THEIR MORNING MEETINGS!!!! Does that not tell us that they are expecting a trickle down to directly affect their facility's population as a result of this decision?
Time for the government to realize what a mistake this is going to prove to be in the long run and change it before it's too late.
Time to stop painting the families as "priviledged". We are simply fighting for the basic constitutional rights of our children.

Cher, I understand you're fighting hard and you wrote a good essay. But Minister Polak is right in pointing out the EIBI program cost $70,000 annually for each of the 70 children while 800+ kids the same age w/ autism received only $20,000 a year.

Now, I don't want to be dismissive but I would encourage you and your friends to go over this 228-page PDF and propose line-item cuts to send to Opposition MLAs to make in estimates debate to save the funding. Or accept with a bit more grace please 6 out of the 7 providers will keep the program at reduced hours so really there is no cataclycsm and more equity, less special treatment. I know that's cold & harsh, but government has to be fair to everyone... and it's not like Minister Mary Polak - who grew up in child poverty w/ a mom w/ cerebral palsy - isn't cutting pork in her HQ. Try $351,000 worth of cuts to HQ so kids get help.

Josef, see my comments in another thread on this on why some programs can run and others can't.

I think the cuts in the HQ are the fat on the pork....if the positions were essential, they would still be there.

These services for these kids are ESSENTIAL...make no mistake on this.

For the record, this thread is what "Fighting for my son" referred to. We're having a good discussion.

That said, I'd really learn fast how to fight gov't. One way is to line-item and get into the details. Hurling invective at Minister Polak is a fast way to stiffen a hero's spine. And mine too.

Karagianis is really dropping the ball on this. It's disappointing that they didn't make this thier QP priority.

Josef, I hope you sit down and read what the writer cher sherwood just shared here, and really try to wrap your head and heart around it. I know that is asking something you are incapable of, and that is precisely why your opinion on this is so irrelevant.

Josef K has been pushing for greater glory by Polak for some time. Calling her a hero is a bit much. she is a second rate poltician who does just what Gordo tells her to say. Her spine would be stiffer if she could keep her story straight. Thorw some crap my way Josef and leave the families with severe problems with their children alone. Your sucking up to Polak will get you nowhere. BY the way, Ms.Karagianis is a good person who has worked hard for her constituents for many years. The party house leader sets up who asks questions and when.

Old Brooktrout, I agree and I am trying to wrap my head around cher wrote. But we need a plan to save the program or the cutback to fewer hours for more kids will go ahead. A real plan!

Remember, unlike many of you, I served w/ Min. Polak, MLA in the last campaign. I know how she thinks, I know how she operates. Just flinging rhetoric at her & about her makes her tougher, not more attentive.

In the words of Josef: "Some say it's time to eliminate diagnosis-based funding as many children are out there with special needs that would love a fraction of the service that autistic families receive."

Since Mary Polak's mom or daughter (the story seems to change) has cerebral palsy, isn't this a bit of a conflict of interest for her to be messing with Autism funding?

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