Do You Still Need An Autism Diagnosis?

Anecdotally, I hear that some families are no longer pursuing an autism diagnosis for their child. On the surface, this makes sense. MCFD is phasing out individualized funding and the new hubs will be doling out services based on need rather than diagnosis.

I would urge these families to reconsider

Firstly, have you noticed that there is a great deal of push back to this half-baked plan? I won’t go into all the reasons why cancelling individualized funding is a stupid move, however a logical person would hope the NDP come to their senses and rewrite this plan. “It ain’t over till it’s over”.

If you had a child with cancer, would you bypass a diagnosis and let a social worker decide what your child needs? Of course not! So why would you do the same for autism?

Do does your child need medication? Do you think a GP is going to hand out high powered meds without a diagnosis?

To get appropriate behavioural therapy for your child you will need a board-certified Behaviour Analyst to direct the program. Does anybody want to take a guess if they will need a proper diagnosis?

Do you have any plans to apply for the Disability Tax Credit (DTC)? If not, you should. The DTC acts as a gateway to everything the federal government offers including:

  • The Child Disability Benefit
  • Enhanced Medical Expenses
  • Enhanced Child Care Expense
  • Home Buyers Amount
  • Home Accessibility Benefit
  • The Canada Caregiver Amount and
  • The Registered Disability Savings Plan

It is true that strictly speaking, you do not need a diagnosis to apply for the DTC but trust me when I say that having one will greatly increase your chances.

Mitzi Dean, Minister of MCFD doesn’t care about your child. That much is abundantly clear. That doesn’t mean however that you should give up. Your child’s future is dependent on an accurate diagnosis.

4 thoughts on “Do You Still Need An Autism Diagnosis?”

  1. Thanks for taking the time to write this!
    As a parent with a child with an ASD diagnosis, I can appreciate the challenges that come for the child & family.
    What I found at a cursory glance with the proposed 2024-25 plan, was that it offerred ALL children who identified as having special needs, an opportunity for supports. As things stand now, a child without a designation is not eligible for an educational assistant for example. And the waitlist is 1-2 year long for an assssment. I wonder if some kind of middle ground would make some semblance of sense; leave the long fought for ASD funding alone & allow children that have been identified as showing a need for a specific service to access th support.

    1. May I ask what legal accommodations you are referring to? I wish we had legal protection like the “Americans with Disabilities Act” (ADA). Unfortunately that does not exist presently.

  2. Thanks for taking the time to write. There are some elements of truth in what you say. Certainly other disabled kids are worthy of support but the plan that MCFD has is not a good one. Moving kids away from funding that enables their parents to direct funding that is appropriate for their kids is just plain wrong. I do agree with you. I would love to see supports in place for other kids while maintaining individualized funding.

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