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Mardi 29 octobre 2013 Numéro 870
Aujourd'hui en veille
Pénurie de services en autisme dans l'ouest de l'Île de Montréal
L'AQESSS plaide pour une uniformité de l'offre de services à domicile
Intervention du RIPPH en marge de la commission parlementaire sur l'Assurance autonomie
Dans le cadre de la Semaine des proches aidants, la RANQ réclame des services de répit souples, accessibles et de qualité
Marie Turcotte remporte le prix Blanche-Lemco-Van-Ginkel de l'Ordre des urbanistes du Québec
Des propriétaires de chiens se prémunissent de harnais pour les emmener dans les lieux publics
Une nouvelle entreprise d'aménagement paysager embauchera principalement des personnes ayant des incapacités
L'autiste au tambour en sélection officielle du Festival du cinéma international d'Abitibi-Témiscamingue


Pénurie de services en autisme dans l'ouest de l'Île de Montréal
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Paru le vendredi 25 octobre 2013 sur The Gazette

Source : www.montrealgazette.com/health/West+Islanders+with+autistic+children+aren+getting+enough+help+agency+says/9084575/story.html

West Islanders with autistic children aren’t getting enough help, agency says

By AARON DERFEL, THE GAZETTE October 25, 2013

West Islanders with autistic children aren’t getting enough help, agency says

For almost two years, Lynda Kachaami’s son, Gabriel Martin, has been on the waiting list at CROM for ABA therapy. When Gabriel turned 3, he was diagnosed with autism.

MONTREAL — Families living with autistic children on the West Island are being discriminated against by the provincial government because of a false perception that the region is uniformly affluent and English-speaking, says the chairman of the Centre de réadaptation de l’Ouest de Montréal (CROM).

“The western part of Montreal has tended to be a little wealthier, and therefore some families have been able to afford private services a bit more,” said Gary Whittaker, chairman of the board of CROM.

“So maybe in the eyes of the government, it doesn’t deserve the same money. But about 40 per cent of our kids and their parents are French-speaking and there are families that are not wealthy. As Montreal has changed, so have we. And now our territory, which is the western half of Montreal, is very multi-cultural and we offer services in French and English.”

At the same time, CROM’s demand for services for children with intellectual disabilities and pervasive developmental disorders — especially government-funded applied behavioural analysis (ABA) therapy — has skyrocketed amid the rising incidence of autism spectrum disorders.

In June, acting provncial auditor general Michel Samson released a report that concluded that the government wasn’t funding CROM fairly. “The mode of financing adopted by the MSSS (Ministère de la Santé et des Services Sociaux) is creating gaps between the regions,” Samson wrote, adding that CROM was particularly hard hit, and that “these (funding) gaps would have an impact on services.”

At CROM, the impact has been particularly harsh: 518 children are on a waiting list for autism-related services. Among those waiting are:

More than 250 children up to age 6 for whom early intervention with ABA can make the most difference;

More than 80 children who have been on a waiting list since 2007, for an average of 1,797 days;

Twenty people who have been on a waiting list for homecare for eight years.

“The demand for our services has grown dramatically and because we provide a very good quality of service, that demand has attracted even more people, but the funding has never changed,” Whittaker said, estimating that CROM needs an additional $12.2 million to meet the pent-up demand. “The government is not allocating funds based on needs.”

Despite the many references to CROM’s predicament in Samson’s report, CROM was not invited this week to speak before a National Assembly committee studying the report even though Whittaker said his centre prepared a brief.

For almost two years, Lynda Kachaami’s son, Gabriel Martin, has been on the waiting list at CROM for ABA therapy. When Gabriel turned 3, he was diagnosed with autism.

Kachaami and her husband, who rent their house in Pierrefonds and who lease their car, decided then to pay out of pocket up to $3,000 a month for private ABA for their son.

“Thank God my son has grandparents who helped us out, as did some of our aunts and uncles who chipped in, feeling our desperation, knowing what we were up against,” Kachaami said. “We had people who dipped into their RRSPs to help us out. But most people in our situation don’t have any help.”


Thanks to ABA, Gabriel has made significant progress. “There’s this small chance that you can help a child with ABA at a critical juncture in their development and you will not have this opportunity later,” she explained.

In August, Kachaami’s other son, Alexander, was diagnosed at age 2 with muscular dystrophy. Unlike Gabriel, Alexander has not had to wait long for therapy.

“He was immediately sent to the hospital and diagnosed, and the waiting list for him was three months and he’s ahead of schedule,” she said. “I want my younger son to get help, but his situation is not as critical as Gabriel’s.

“It’s almost like they’re saying that children with autism don’t matter,” she added.

Whittaker blamed the lack of funding on provincial government bureaucrats rather than the Agence de la santé et des services sociaux de Montréal.

“Unfortunately, the bureaucrats in Quebec City don’t have a good understanding of what’s happening on the island of Montreal,” he said.

Laurie Comtois, press attaché to Social Services Minister Véronique Hivon, said Friday that she couldn’t comment precisely on Whittaker’s remarks.

But she did respond with a general comment by email that the “minister is very sensitive to the situation and needs of autistic children and their families, and that improving access to services constitutes a priority for the government.”

aderfel@montrealgazette.com

 


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