Ontario Association of Children's Rehabilitation Services

Ontario Association of Children's Rehabilitation Services

May 12, 2006 10:30 ET

Ontario Association of Children's Rehabilitation Services: Life Just Got Better for Thousands of Ontario Children with Disabilities

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(CCNMatthews - May 12, 2006) - Thanks to a $10 million budget increase from the Ministry of Children and Youth Services, 19 of Ontario's Children's Treatment Centres will provide outpatient therapy services to nearly 5,000 more children with disabilities this year.

"We are delighted that Minister Mary Anne Chambers is investing these Ontario Government funds to help children with disabilities," says Vicky Earle, CEO, Ontario Association of Children's Rehabilitation Services. "Thousands of children have been waiting for needed therapy services for months, and we all know that early intervention is critical so that these children have the opportunity to reach their potential for participation in life."

Providing needed therapy services help children and youth with a variety of physical, communication and developmental disabilities, and their families. Diagnoses include cerebral palsy, acquired brain injury, spina bifida, muscular dystrophy, Down's Syndrome, cleft lip and palate and Pervasive Developmental Delay/Autism.

Early intervention helps children to succeed at school, and helps the family's ability to cope with the stresses of caring for a child with disabilities. Currently, Children's Treatment Centres serve about 50,000 children and their families.

But long wait times have been frustrating parents such as Crystal and Andrew. "The wait times are too long," says Crystal who first applied for an audio test for her son Stephen in July 2005. "I understand it, but in our case it's not knowing, rather than waiting to get help, that is frustrating." Bonnie waited six months for her son Bentley to receive physiotherapy at school through the Children's Treatment Centre. "It's frustrating because he lost half a year," says Bonnie. "He avoids doing whatever it is they're supposed to be doing. He doesn't complete his homework. He's had enough. He's frustrated."

Children's Treatment Centres have shared this frustration. Unable to provide timely help to children like Stephen and Bentley, they requested a $14 million increase in funding from the Ontario Government to reduce wait lists and wait times.

While Children's Treatment Centres didn't receive the full $14 million, "$10 million will go a long way to help increase the quality of life for thousands of children", says Earle. "And that's good news for the children and their families, as well as for the dedicated staff and volunteers who serve them."

Contact Information