Autism Funding Withdrawn for Children over the age of 5

  • March 31, 2016
  • Kimberly Srivastava

Our office has been contacted by dozens of parents concerned about the recently announced changes to the availability and eligibility of IBI programming for young children with autism.

For those who don’t know, children with autism thrive when supported by intensive behavioural intervention (IBI). This intervention works to decrease poor habits and foster new, positive habits which help children communicate, socialize and learn. Research has shown that early intervention with IBI can have hugely positive results.

In the past, the province has had very long waitlists to access provincial funding for IBI. At the end of March 2016, the province announced that it was dedicating $333 million to autism programming and which would help to decrease the waitlists. However, by doing so, the province has changed the eligibility requirements so that only children 2-4 years old will receive IBI funding and programming. You can view the announcement here (link).

This change means that for all of the children who were on the wait list for years and still haven’t received, or only just began receiving IBI, if they are over 5 years old, they are no longer eligible.

Bakerlaw has already filed one Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario Application regarding the provision of IBI through the education system. We are also gearing up for a second case on behalf of a child who is having IBI funding withdrawn as a result of this change.

We will be setting up a crowd funding page to help finance these cases.

Spread the word and stay tuned for more details about how you can get involved.

If you want to be contacted with updates on this case or contribute funds, send us your contact information at info@bakerlaw.ca.

A petition has been initiated, you can view it and lend your support here (link).

CBC has done a story involving some concerned parents, you can read the story here (link).

A Facebook page has been started regarding the change. You can view that here (link).

You can also follow us on Twitter for updates: @BakerLaw_TO


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  1. Tina Randazzo
    April 2, 2016

    This is outrageous! What happens when these children with autism become adults ? Does the government not see how backwards this is and how they are doing a huge mistake that will in the long run cost the government more money to house these poor adults who did not get therapy and might end up having severe behaviours that could have been prevented! It will come back to haunt the government !

  2. Rachelle Parker
    April 3, 2016

    Please include us!! Thanks for helping fight this very important battle!! Our son is 4.5 and has been waiting over 2 years for IBI….Thanks, Rachelle Parker

  3. Margaret Szypula
    April 4, 2016

    Hello! My son was on the waiting list for 3 years and as of March 15 was first on the list. He suppose to get the therapy in June. He got his final re-assessment and approval in January. I am devastated and still can not believe that this actually is happening.

  4. Leslie
    April 5, 2016

    Thank you for fighting for us! My son is 6 soon to be 7. My son was diagnosed at 3. We just got approval for IBI. He literally started March 30, 2016. March 31, 2016 we got our letter that said at his assessment in 6 months he will be discharged from the program regardless if he needs more. I was told this therapy would help “regardless” of his age by the very therapists that are helping him now. I have been told this for years. Just wait. I know it is hard. But it will help. Now the very thing I have pinned the hopes and dreams for my son has been taken away. He will be out just as the ball got rolling. It is cruel. Thank you for fighting. We need someone in our corner.

  5. Vanessa Tull
    April 5, 2016

    Thank you! Our son is 5 on May 27th, and was expected to start his IBI therapy in the next month or so. He has been waiting since he was diagnosed at 3. He was only diagnosed that early because we borrowed money from our parents to pay for a diagnosis, since the waiting list to be diagnosed was so long. What about those kids? They can’t justify the age range of between 2-4, when most children aren’t even diagnosed until after 3. The psychologist in Ottawa that diagnosed our son even said it was a little early to diagnose him, because he may not show all of the criteria. So much for fast tracking. We are devastated. Our son is not ready for school, and his IBI therapy was going to help prepare him. He is a flight risk and doesn’t understand danger. We have to hold his hand or have him wear a harness if he is not safely locked inside the house, or in a fenced yard. Please help us get back this much needed therapy!! How can they take away $100,000 + worth of therapy and think $8000 will cover it.!!

  6. Lisa
    April 5, 2016

    Hello, our case is a little different. Our son was just diagnosed with Autism four weeks ago…he is 11 years old!
    The reason it took so long for diagnosis is because he has other issues that were preventing the physcologist from getting the full picture. He has PTSD (caused from numerous hospital stays, medical tests, emergency visits and all that comes along with things you witness in the ER- due to mitochondrial disease and cyclical vomiting syndrome) and severe anxiety which is starting to be more manageable through CBT.
    We are still overwhelmed with the new diagnosis but kinda feel like there was a light at the end of the tunnel. You see, I have always said there was something more going on with my little guy and now all the pieces fit and make sense.
    We have started the process and have him registered to receive therapy but after reading this…I don’t know what to think. I’m scared that my son will not be able to receive the therapies to help him.
    We have so much uncertainty and have been through so much with his physical health, mental health and now the Autism diagnosis…not sure what next steps should be? Waiting to hear back about what services our local hospital will offer us.
    Hopefully, this decision to cut funding for kids over 5 will be turned around!

  7. Mary
    April 11, 2016

    Thank you for fighting for us .. My son is 3.5 years and got diagnosed 6 months ago and he is on the waiting list from a month .. He is in a bad need for this therapy .. Thanks again for fighting