Autism Society Canada

Autism Society Canada

November 22, 2006 14:29 ET

Autism Society Canada Welcomes Announcement from Federal Minister of Health in Support of Canadians with Autism Spectrum Disorders

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(CCNMatthews - Nov. 22, 2006) - More than two years have passed since Autism Society Canada (ASC) began our call to the federal government to put in place a comprehensive national autism strategy to address the lifespan needs of individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). Among the components of this strategy, ASC has been calling on government to make autism a national priority by initiating ASD surveillance and reporting, by increasing support for ASD research, and by holding a national symposium on autism in Canada.

Today, Minister of Health Tony Clement announced new initiatives in support of Canadians with ASD.

Jo-Lynn Fenton, President of Autism Society Canada said: "We applaud the government for initiating some of the elements that ASC believes will help develop a comprehensive national autism strategy. These are modest first steps, and we will work to ensure that many more steps are taken by government to meet the multifaceted needs of our community. We look forward to working with government and our other partners across Canada." She added: "There are still key components that must not be dropped off the table. We urge government to continue to make autism a national priority."

These key components include:

- Significant targeted funding to Canadian funding organizations such as CIHR and Genome Canada for ASD research;

- Universal screening and improved diagnosis provided by professionals with specialized ASD diagnostic training for both children and adults;

- National guidelines for treatment and service delivery;

- Working with provincial and territorial governments to increase funding to provide universally accessible evidenced-based appropriate treatment regardless of age or ability to pay;

- Targeted professional training; and,

- Social, health, and education supports and accommodations for all Canadians with ASD across the lifespan.

ASC is a federation of Canada-wide provincial and territorial autism societies whose collective memberships represent the largest body of individuals with ASD and their families in Canada.

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