If There Were Ever A Reason To Write…

The press release below this post says that the Manitoba government is introducing severe cuts to services for children with disabilities in Manitoba.  What it doesn’t explain is that the cuts are simply the end of a grant that allowed SMD to hire extra staff for a period of time, but now the grant has run out and will not be renewed.

Did you know:

  • The wait list for occupational therapy is already over 8 months from diagnosis?
  • The SMD Outreach program (OT, Speech, and Physical Therapy) ends when the child enters Kindergarten?
  • The Autism Outreach program has 2 1/2 staff members in Winnipeg, serving over 130 children?  That program is greatly strengthened by the collaboration of therapy professionals.
  • When children enter school, the therapists there are mostly  available for evaluation and consultation?  They train teachers, but are really not there to work with families and children on a regular basis.

These numbers are frustrating.  There are already lengthy wait lists, and any level of funding cuts will be detrimental to many children with autism and other disabilities. Some preschool children who need them will never see a therapist.  How can you have effective autism treatment without the expertise of these professionals?

May I encourage you to write to your MLA, to the minister of Family Services?  It also may be helpful to draw this issue to the attention of the provincial opposition.  Contact information is here.

SMD LayoffsContinue reading…