SCHOOL BOARDS NEED MORE AUTISM SUPPORT: OFFICIALS

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teacher helps individual student

School Boards are telling the ministry they’ll need additional resources to help autistic students once therapy cutbacks take effect.

Ontario school boards are telling the Ministry of Education that they need more support for students with autism after the Ford government slashed therapy funding for many families.

Andréa Grebenc, chair of the Halton District School Board, told The Globe and Mail in an interview that the Halton Board includes 600 autistic students who will need more help if their therapy is cut.

“For our system, it’s going to affect every classroom. That’s a lot of staff that we would suddenly have to find and train,” she said in the interview. “I unfortunately feel that the direction that the program has gone [will] be detrimental for both the boards and the families.”

“We hope to hear from the province that some additional funding will be provided,” said Alex Johnstone, chair of the Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board, in a letter to the minister. “If not, we will certainly be communicating to the province what the impact was and how they can better support our school board.”

Cathy Abraham, president of the Ontario Public School Boards’ Association, also sent a letter to the minister.

“It’s going to present a challenge come April 1. We don’t know how many kids are coming,” she told The Globe and Mail. “We want to serve all students the best we can, but without any details, we can’t even plan for it. We need to know how many students are coming to us, what their needs are going to be and how that’s going to be funded.”

Please follow this link to see the entire article in The Globe and Mail.