My Vision for a National Autism Strategy

Canada’s Next Step March in Ottawa, March 31st 2019, calling for a National Autism Strategy

Vision

A Canada in which autism is better understood, embraced, and all autistics are provided the necessary support to live, work, and thrive in a world not designed for them, to achieve the quality of life they all deserve, founded in inclusion and acceptance.

A very key difference between this vision statement I wrote, and the one used for the dementia strategy, is that prevention was one of the primary objectives for dementia.

Guiding Principles

I think the principles used in the dementia strategy largely hold true for what the autism strategy should be guided by as well, so here they are, copied from the dementia strategy, with some minor alterations to the descriptions only:

National Objectives

Here’s where we get into the meat of it.

  • Ensure autistics have the support they need across their lifespan.
  • Ensure that same level of support is universally available across the country, meeting an agreed-upon standard of care.
  • Strive towards a more inclusive and accessible society for autistics.
  • Employment
  • Housing
  • Therapy funding
  1. Enhance inclusion and accommodation of autistics in the workplace
  2. Improve access and quality of housing solutions for autistics who require additional support
  3. Ensure equitable access and funding across Canada and within provinces/territories to evidence-based therapies and supports

Enhance inclusion and accommodation of autistics in the workplace

There is a very high rate of unemployment in autistics, and for those that can, and want, to work - this is a large problem.

Improve access and quality of housing solutions for autistics who require additional support

The waitlist for supportive housing is alarming, and said to be over 20 years long.

Who will care for our children after we’re gone?

For autistics who are able to live on their own without additional support, this may not be a major concern. But for families caring for a child with high needs, it’s hard not to think about how your child will need continued support long after you’re able to give it to them directly.

Ensure equitable access and funding across Canada and within provinces/territories to evidence-based therapies and supports

This component is one that many may consider absolutely critical.

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Patrick Monaghan

Patrick Monaghan

Dad to 2 kids on the spectrum. Autism Advocate.