'What is their plan?': NS family struggles to cope as PM, premier dodge questions on autism

A Nova Scotia mother who shared her family’s gut-wrenching experience with autism in the hopes of forcing political leaders to act, says she’s still waiting.“What is their plan right now?” asked Carly Sutherland on Wednesday.Her nine-year-old son Callum is severely impacted by autism. He uses few words and often resorts to violence. Sutherland and her husband John shared their story publicly in late November as they grappled with emotional and physical trauma and concerns for their finances.Story continues belowREAD MORE: N.S. family ‘scared’ as boy with severe autism faces release without home supportsSince then, a fundraising campaign from friends and more respite money from the province has barely served as a Band-Aid.“His behaviour is so extreme that it has pushed me and my husband to our absolute limits,” she said.Sitting at her kitchen table in a suburb of Halifax, Sutherland is matter-of-fact as she details biting, scratching, and holes that Callum has punched in his bedroom walls.“I think it’s pushed beyond our limits but we just don’t have a choice. We have to keep going and I don’t think that’s a reasonable ask of any human being.”On Tuesday night, Sutherland asked Prime Minister Justin Trudeau how his government plans to address the “crisis” that her’s and other families are in and where he stands on a national autism strategy.“Families like mine should not have to subsidize health care and education for their disabled children,” she said, calling it an issue of “fundamental human rights.”SutherlandCarly Sutherland is hoping her story will prod governments to do more for families who have individuals who suffer from severe autism.Courtesy of Carly SutherlandSutherland3A hole punched in the wall by Callum Smith, who has severe autism.Courtesy of Carly SutherlandSutherland2Carly Sutherland shows the bruises she has received from her son Callum, who has severe autism.Courtesy of Carly SutherlandTrudeau didn’t give a straightforward answer and didn’t state his position on a national strategy. Instead, he pointed out that provinces are responsible for funding health care and education, and highlighted federal investments in research.“I can imagine how difficult things must be for you and I am so proud of the community that has supported you,” he told her at his town hall-style event.Sutherland said Trudeau didn’t give “much of an answer.”WATCH BELOW: Justin Trudeau asked where he stands on a national autism strategy

Read the full article at the original source

Leave a Reply