Thousands more Ontario children with autism are on waiting lists for treatment than they were 10 years ago, and government figures suggest the number of kids receiving treatment is actually dropping.
The NDP submitted a Freedom of Information request for the numbers of children with autism spectrum disorders on wait lists for Intensive Behavioural Intervention and Applied Behaviour Analysis.
In 2005-06 there were 753 kids waiting for IBI and now there are 2,192.
In 2011-12, when ABA funding began, there were 2,784 kids on the wait list and now there are 13,966, though some children may be on both lists.
Estimates from the Ministry of Children and Youth Services show that only five more children were expected to receive IBI treatment this year than last, and the number for ABA dropped from 8,445 to 8,000 – though some children may receive more than one ABA treatment in a year.
Minister Tracy MacCharles says the government is constantly working to improve the services it provides and is investing more than $190 million in autism services this year, an increase of more than $100 million since 2004.