I don't know how I missed this before. I don't know why it surprises me.
Our government funded services have been changing the criteria for the therapies they provide. They have been in-home therapy only, for as long as we have needed services, which has its own pluses and minuses. (see this post My house, their rules) That hasn't changed.
The 'new' approach is called "family focused". It means that more and more emphasis must be put on teaching the parent how to work with their child, and the methodologies recommended by the specialists. The parent present during the daily therapy sessions is expected to be hands on for the whole session, involved in all the activities.
Now, it has been bad enough that I have to open my home to strangers who tell me how to parent and who critique my housekeeping and manners.
Now I am being judged on my mood and attitude at every single session.
I suppose I should feel grateful that services for my child are available at all, but I am really tired of being expected to grateful for the presence of people I am not comfortable with, doing things I am not comfortable doing, for my child, whom I worry is going to lose ground because I am not learning fast enough.
Then it hit me. The government is funding, not help for my kids, but training for me to do the jobs of all the people who are being compelled to train me, so that they can provide less qualified aides, and fewer specialist hours. In short, they are giving short term funding to train parents to take over as therapists for their kids, so they needn't pay for those therapists as the children get older. They are making it harder to get services for so called "high functioning" autistic children. Integration is the only viable option for a child who is of average or higher intelligence, but has social and sensory special needs, assuming you want your child to get the curriculum that will keep them at grade level with their peers, but fewer supports are available for those kids.
It is no longer enough that I am raising my children, now I am expected to be their occupational therapist, speech pathologist, physiotherapist and developmental psychologist.
So if my child does not succeed to the best of her ability, it is my fault for not learning quickly enough, or working hard enough. It's all on me. Again.
You hit the nail right on the head. This is what irritates me about the language surrounding funding for services. It is all about "helping families cope" rather than helping children reach their potential. Instead of funding professionals like OTs, SLPs, psychologists, etc., they fund aides, who have had a week of training, to "teach" parents how to deal with behaviours. They point us towards parenting classes instead of funding real therapies.ReplyDelete