Autism Reality

What Does Throne Speech Autism Commitment Mean?

Yesterday I commented that the Graham government’s throne speech contained good news for students with autism because the speech contained a commitment to autism specific training for TA’s. Opposition leader Shawn Graham had committed during the campaign to training 100 TA’s and Resource teachers per year for the next 4 years via the UNB-CEL Autism Intervention Training program. This morning’s Telegraph Journal APPEARED to indicate a major watering down of that commitment though indicating in a story carried on page A3 , that Education Minister Lamrock was committing to 100 TA’s over the course of his government’s mandate. The Minister also appeared to be wavering over whether the training would be done by the UNB-CEL folks, widely respected by the NB Autism Community and across Canada or on the cheap by Department of Education civil servants. The difference is substantial.


– Telegraph Journal, February 7, 2007, Joshua Errett Minister promises 100 autism support workers in schools

There are literally hundreds of students with autism in New Brunswick schools. Many are effectively excluded from receiving a real education because they do not have the autism trained personnel working with them to assist their learning by specialized methodologies such as Applied Behavior Analysis. They have been betrayed by New Brunswick politicians before. In the past an interdepartmental (Education, Family Services, Health) committee (the IDC) was established to examine autism services in New Brunswick. The IDC took almost two years to conclude that autism specific services were virtually non-existent. It issued a report and recommendations which sat unread by the lead Minister on the IDC, for almost a full year and most of its recommendations were never fulfilled and are now seriously outdated. Autistic children do not need any more political betrayals. Hopefully, the new Liberal government is not about to water down its commitment to a fraction of what Mr. Graham promised.

On May 4, 2004 a Fredericton Liberal MLA stood in front of the Centennial Building with protesting parents of autistic school children and said “”We can do better. We know the options,… “We know that ABA treatment works. Premier Bernard Lord says he has to make tough choices? I say he made bad choices and cut taxes. If you can get up every day and deal with this, you deserve the Liberals’ support.

Daily Gleaner, May 4, 2004, Joel Kane, Parents march to protest tight funding for autism

I hope that Education Minister Lamrock remembers his words from May 4, 2004, remembers Mr. Grahams campaign commitment and honors that commitment fully.

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February 7, 2007 Posted by | ABAA, autism, autism education, autism support workers, campaign promises, Daily Gleaner, Education Minister Kelly Lamrock, Premier Shawn Graham, TA's, Telegraph Journal, UNB-CEL | Leave a comment

Good Autism News in New Brunswick Throne Speech



Premier Graham’s first throne speech today contained good news for students with autism in New Brunswick schools. During the election campaign Mr. Graham made a very specific promise to provide autism training at UNB-CEL autism intervention program to 100 TA’s and Resource teachers. The wait for confirmation of that commitment has been nerve racking but the Throne Speech contains good news in the form of a plan which will be announced this session to increase the number of trained autism support workers in the system. This is of course a very general statement but it means a lot to have such a commitment made in the throne speech. Parents will remain vigilant. We have no choice, we have been let down before and our children can not afford more setbacks on their learning journeys. But today is a good day for New Brunswick school students with autism – a very good day.

http://www.gnb.ca/cnb/Promos/Throne-2007/speech-e.asp

“Your government earned the trust of New Brunswickers by outlining the Charter for Change which will form the basis for many of the initiatives that will be introduced in the coming months. The cornerstones of the Charter for Change are the Three Es – education, energy and economic development.

Your government will work with New Brunswick’s teachers, District Education Councils and academic institutions to build the best education system in Canada. This year, your government will release a new Plan for Education. The Minister of Education has been consulting with teachers, District Education Councils, parents and students on this action plan of new ideas and programs to begin transforming our schools.

This year, your government will begin its commitment to implement the MacKay Report recommendations for improving our inclusive education system and meeting the diverse needs of all our students . The Minister of Education will appear before the Standing Committee on Education in order to initiate the discussion on how to ensure that each child in New Brunswick has the chance to reach his or her full potential.

Your government will further demonstrate its commitment to inclusive education by ensuring that new hope is given to children with autism. A plan will be announced this session to increase the number of trained autism support workers in the system.

Your government understands the importance of a school to the community around it. Your government will move forward on a new community schools policy that will enhance the quality of education in rural and urban communities alike by transforming schools into true centres of learning for the whole community.

Truly innovative change will be driven by teachers and your government will announce new measures to support our best teachers and principals in being leaders in innovative education.

During the upcoming session, your government will unveil a new accountability agenda for improving results for early literacy and exceptional learners.

The Departments of Education and Family and Community Services will work jointly and in partnership with stakeholders to develop a long-term plan for child care and early learning.”

February 6, 2007 Posted by | autism, autism support workers, eduction, New Brunswick, Premier Shawn Graham, Throne Speech | Leave a comment