April 2, 2019 7:26 pm
Updated: April 3, 2019 7:30 am

Autism advocate says Sask. record funding for supports and services fall short

WATCH: Jeanelle Mandes’ 10-year-old daughter Sharlize has autism and believes the Saskatchewan government isn’t doing enough when it comes to supports and services.


The Saskatchewan government says their more than $12 million in annual funding towards autism services and support shows a high level of dedication.

The money increases the annual funding per child under six from $4,000 to $6,000.

But for Jeanelle Mandes, who has a 10-year-old daughter with autism and suffers from extreme meltdowns, it’s not enough.

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“Autism doesn’t stop at the age of six. If anything a lot of the diagnoses are made at the age of five and six and up,” Mandes said.

READ MORE: ELIS program expands to help Saskatchewan preschoolers with intensive needs

“Every day is different, she can have her good and bad days.”

The news came in the 2019-20 budget and includes a $700,000 increase to the Autism Spectrum Disorder Individualized Funding program, totalling $3.5 million.

“Autism services and supports are crucial for ensuring that families who have children with autism have the flexibility and assistance needed to thrive,” said Health Minister Jim Reiter.

“That is why this government brought in individualized funding last year and has increased spending on services and supports from just over $500,000 in 2007 to more than $12 million annually.”

Both the Autism Resource Centre in Regina and Autism Services of Saskatoon’s annual funding will increase by $100,000 each.

READ MORE: More family resource centres coming to Saskatchewan communities

“The Autism Resource Centre is very grateful to the Saskatchewan government for recognizing the unique mental health needs of people with autism,” Autism Resource Centre executive director Keely Wight said.

“It is a progressive step for Saskatchewan to include autism in the conversation about mental health, and we are now able to provide this much-needed service to those with autism and their loved ones.”

For more information about the Autism Spectrum Disorder Individualized Funding program and other services and supports available for people with Autism Spectrum Disorder click here.

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