My name is Milburn Drysdale and I am formerly a banker by trade. I moved to BC a few years ago and have one child with autism.
Why did I build this website?
I assumed my child would be cared for by the medical system in Canada, but I quickly became saddened and disillusioned. Medicare took wonderful care of my friends with cancer, but ignored the growing epidemic of autism.
I am hugely grateful to the families before me, who courageously fought in the courts for justice for our children. Their gains while modest, paved the way for the partial funding that we have today. The irony is that none of these families were able to access the funding in place today because their children are now too old for the $22,000 offered by the province.
The fight continues to this day, with the battleground now changed to the political arena.
The political fight is an important one, but I also believe that we need to live in the present. That means knowing what services and funds are available to our children. Many of the avenues available to us are obscure and sadly many parents are not aware of where to look for help.
Thanks! Now that I have all this information, all is well.
Wrong! Sorry, after all the tips I’ve passed along there is one more point that needs to be made. You must fight like hell to get everything that your child deserves. At times you may have to:
- Refuse to accept what is parceled out to you
- Fire therapists and consultants
- Resubmit paperwork numerous times
- Go over the heads of the bureaucrats to their supervisors
- Go to your MLA (I guarantee you will soon be on a first name basis)
- Hire a lawyer to advance your case
- Go to the media
The bureaucracy will astonish you. The bureaucrats dealing with your case will at times, simply not give a damn about you or your child. I’m afraid that it’s up to you to advocate for your child.
That sounds awful! Does anyone give a damn?
Yes, absolutely! Parents of autistic children understand exactly what you are going through and provide an invaluable source of information and support. I recommend that you establish ties with other parents in your region.
My child is now older and I’m through the worst of it. What now?
It’s now time to give back. Think of all the years that you having been leaning on other parents for support. If you now have some breathing room, it’s time to pay it forward. Some ideas include:
- Hosting a local AutismBC chapter
- Provide one on one help to new parents.
- Become involved with AutismBC or the Autism Support Network
- Fight the good fight by joining MFAN and Civil Rights Now!
The purpose of this website is to give parents a starting point for financial issues. It’s not quite as simple as knowing where to look. Parents are forced to act as advocates for their children who cannot speak for themselves. Many of the services mentioned in this website are not easy to access. Be prepared to fight for your children. You are the best hope they have. Good luck.