An effort to reduce wait times for autism testing

A new partnership between The Miriam Foundation and the provincial government may help reduce wait times for autism testing in Quebec

A recently announced partnership between a non-profit organization and the Quebec government should provide hope for the families of the 800 Quebec children currently waiting to be assessed for Autism Spectrum Disorder.

The Miriam Foundation, which supports rehabilitative, vocational and residential services for children and adults with autism or intellectual disabilities, will open a new assessment centre in early 2015, with the goal of reducing the 12-24 month wait time for families waiting for an evaluation.

“It’s really tragic what’s going on today, with families waiting years for a diagnosis,” said Warren Greenstone, executive director of the Miriam Foundation. “All the research has proven that early intervention before the age of 6 is critical; these kids can have a chance of having a normal life.”

The provincial government will divert the patients currently waiting to be seen at local hospitals to the new centre, which is being created partly with the help of a $5 million donation from the Marcelle and Jean Coutu foundation. The plan is for the government to assume control of the centre after it becomes established.

Greenstone said they also plan to help provide support and early intervention for families within 90 days of a diagnosis. In the future, they hope to help provide medical and dental services for patients with autism and intellectual disabilities.

The foundation has launched the See things my way” campaign in order to raise awareness, empathy, and funding for future projects.

For more information, visit  seethingsmyway.org.