MP Bruce Hyer Marks Autism Awareness Day
Universal and accessible autism treatment needed across Canada
April 2, 2012
OTTAWA - Thunder Bay-Superior North MP Bruce Hyer is recognizing World Autism Awareness Day today by acknowledging the need for universal screening policies in order to ensure the timely and accurate diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder in Canadian children.
“Early autism intervention needs to be a priority, given the serious and potentially life-long consequences of misdiagnosis or non-treatment,” declared Hyer.
World Autism Awareness Day is celebrated every year by the United Nations. All nations are called upon to take action in promoting awareness and the needs of the disabled, especially children suffering from developmental disabilities such as autism. Autism is neurological disorder with symptoms related to impaired communication or social skills. It affects approximately every 1 in 110 children in Canada and cuts across gender, ethnic and socio-economic lines. Most importantly, its symptoms have been known to persist well into adulthood, impacting people’s quality of life.
“As a permanent disorder, autism never really goes away and that makes universal screening even more important. There must be a greater emphasis on needs-based treatment and services to ensure that all Canadians with autism can receive the support that they need to flourish,” declared Hyer. Universal screening is key to early intervention, which is essential for helping autistic children to lead a fulfilled and productive life.
Non-treatment and misdiagnosis of autism in childhood comes with a serious cost. For autistic adults, the lack of intervention early on can lead to poor life skills, which in turn often results in a misdiagnosis of schizophrenia or obsessive compulsive disorder, amongst a host of other neurological conditions.
“Many children with autism are able to grow and prosper, often obtaining university degrees and finding productive employment. So it is especially important not to let vulnerable people slip through the cracks. As a nation committed to human rights, we must help individuals realize their full potential and live with dignity. An important part of this is to promote universal early screening for autism,” concluded Hyer.
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69 N. Court Street
Thunder Bay, ON
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Bruce Hyer, MP
House of Commons