This COVID update has been slow in coming. I wanted to do something other than tell you to wash your hands. Sadly, there is little to report. MCFD as usual continues to underwhelm us.
They have refused to let the AFU funds transition to the next funding year except in limited cases . It is frustrating to lose out on therapy for your child because you cannot get a Consultant or BI to come into your home.
They have allowed the material funds to go as high as 35% of your annual funds. The deadline of 30 June 2020 for this allowance is quickly approaching.
Autism Funding may now be used for family counselling .
MCFD has some emergency funding available but good luck contacting your social worker.
What should you do if you are just starting out and are not yet receiving autism funds?
The wait time for Sunnyhill is increasing by the day. The latest estimate is 65 weeks from the BCANN website. Your actual wait will be much longer as the COVID-19 restrictions continue to add to the backlog.
I would strongly suggest booking a private assessment. The cost of waiting for a public assessment may be huge in terms of loss of time critical therapy and lost autism funding (i.e. no assessment – no autism funding). Please check with other families in your community or Facebook groups for the best practitioners in your area. The Autism Support Network has a superb Parent Facebook group where you can ask these and many other questions.
AutismBC has a webinar “Waiting for Assessment” which has tons of great information. The cost is free! Sign up as a new member (this is also free!) to get notified of upcoming events.
The Autism Support Network has some outstanding YouTube videos which are a must view for families with a new diagnosis.
What should you do if you are in receipt of autism funds?
Spend as much as you can on materials if you are unable to spend your funds on therapy due to COVID-19. The Autism Funding Program will allow you to purchase a computer or iPad once every 3 years. For detailed insight into what you may purchase using Autism Funding, consider joining the excellent AFU Families Facebook group.
Some of our kids respond well to online schooling and therapy sessions and others not so much. If your child is high needs and requires in-person sessions the Autism Support Network has some guidelines to follow. For a more comprehensive guide to ABA sessions during the current pandemic, refer to the BC-ABA resources page.
Does your child qualify for the Disability Tax Credit?
If so, the federal government will be sending you an extra $600 . When will it arrive? Who knows, but we will be happy to receive it when it does come.
If your child does not qualify for the DTC, now is a good time as ever to get started on the process. Consult my file Autism and the T2201 for a detailed look at how to get started.