Why Build The Centre Now?
Simply put, the time has come to give the autism community the services it deserves.
Autism is the most diagnosed neurodevelopmental disorder in Canada. With prevalence rates rapidly increasing, services have not kept pace. We currently cannot meet the growing demand of more people on the autism spectrum with complex needs.
Our existing school, built in 1957, is used to its maximum capacity. As a result, we must refuse 9 out of 10 applicants each year. We also lack the necessary spaces (gymnasium, respite and sensory rooms) to support the numerous needs of our students.
After a diagnosis, families are left scrambling for accurate information and services, and must often put together their own intervention plans, integrating schooling, therapies and community involvement.
Families and adults on the spectrum are also desperate for services. School ends at 21 years old, but autism is a lifelong condition. Finding meaningful employment and living an independent life remain a challenge for most people with ASD. 86% of autistic adults are unemployed or underemployed.
While we need to help families navigate the system and provide autistic individuals with the best possible therapies and support, we must also continue to educate whole communities about ASD to allow people on the spectrum to finally be fully included in society.
We have a unique opportunity, right now, to have an immediate impact in the community, today and for generations to come.