MONCTON - The parent of an autistic child says he's planning to vote against the Tories on election day as a protest against the government's failure to provide adequate therapy for his child.
Michael Pugsley says a study in California gave new hope to him and other parents of autistic kids. He says the study suggested a form of therapy called applied behavioral analysis had a stunning success rate. He says 43 per cent of children in the research improved to the point where they were indistinguishable from non-autistic children.
Pugsley says he wasn't surprised when a government committee here recommended funding the therapy.
But he says Family and Community Services Minister Joan MacAlpine has ignored the recommendation. "Her own report recommends ABA and it's my understanding that she doesn't support ABA because she thinks it's hocus pocus. Her own study, she signed off on it."
MacAlpine's boss, Premier Bernard Lord, says his government has done more than previous governments to help autistic children and their families. "We have made an investment of $2.8 million more in this budget, which is the single largest new investment for autistic children this province has ever seen."
But Lord didn't say how much, if any of the new money would go to support the therapy Pugley's child needs.