This is Delanie and Mackenzie Ceretti. Their father's name is Paul. Both children are severely autistic. Unfortunately for Delanie, her progression in Ontario's Autism Intervention Program is not sufficient and her funding is being cut to allow another child to take her place. Paul Ceretti did not let this go and took the Ontario government to court to have a judge review the evidence to cease her therapy. The judge agreed with the ministry and Delanie's funding will now cease. Delanie will transition to school supports; Mackenzie will continue to receive ABA therapy to catch her up with her peers.
I am completely torn on this decision. On the one hand, intensive ABA (known as IBI in Ontario) is designed to be effective for two to three years, and not every child responds to it, although almost all children will learn new skills using it. One could make the argument that there are only "so many dollars" in the budget and the government needs to use those dollars the best way it can. However, I don't know what progress Delanie has made or on what basis they cut her off. Perhaps she was making great progress. However I do agree there is immense pressure to get children out of IBI to keep the waiting lists from growing even longer than they are.
Now, on the other hand, in our socialized medicare system, how many dollars are spent daily on patients who are terminally ill or unlikely to recover? In our system, we spend dollars until the patient is better or dead. One could argue the way to stop our ballooning health care budget from continuing to grow is to make better health care dollar decisions. But it would be an uproar and a media frenzy if a hospital ever told a patient they were discontinuing treatment because they were not responding "well enough" to the treatment. So in medicare, we keep shoveling money into the system, but for treatment of autism, we maintain our budget. Let's see how long that lasts in the next generation as autism continues to become more common.
Here's to Paul Ceretti. You are a brave man and a fighter. Let's hope I can fight as hard as you can for my own daughter. I hope I'm up to the challenge.