Options limited

Barb
Barb Sweet
Send to a friend

Send this article to a friend.

Mother can't find daycare for son; centres say space is tight

The St. John's mother of a child with autism desperate to prepare her son for school says he's been turned away by daycares in the city.

Wanda Martin started nine months ago trying to find part-time daycare for her son, Creed, 5.

With time quickly running out before Creed starts school in the fall, Martin said doors have been shut in her face.

Wanda Martin (left) the mother of five-year-old Creed, who is autistic, is growing frustrated by not being able to get her son in daycare. Alisha Gainforth (centre) is Creed's applied behaviour analysis worker. - Photo by Joe Gibbons/The Telegram

The St. John's mother of a child with autism desperate to prepare her son for school says he's been turned away by daycares in the city.

Wanda Martin started nine months ago trying to find part-time daycare for her son, Creed, 5.

With time quickly running out before Creed starts school in the fall, Martin said doors have been shut in her face.

No. 1, several daycares told her they won't take part-time kids.

Martin wanted Creed to start part time at first, transitioning to full time as he got used to the setting.

And secondly, they refused to allow Creed to be accompanied by his applied behaviour analysis worker Alisha Gainforth.

Martin said the facilities told her they don't have insurance to allow such a worker onsite.

Gainforth is funded through Eastern Health.

Both Martin and Gainforth said it's crucial Creed be exposed to children in a structured setting to help him get ready for school in the fall.

Martin has already kept him out of school for a year, but has to enrol him September.

"This is a door that's being shut and it can't be a shut. It is such a desperate need here in St. John's for these children, for any child with special needs," Martin said.

"When it boils at the end of the day ... what ticks me off the most is this is a technicality."

She doesn't worry about Creed academically, but is concerned about him being able to handle the structure of a classroom. He is her only child.

unable to get him in a situation where there is other children and I mean a structured situation where he can observe what other children do instead of being alone by himself, we're going to have major problems come schooltime," Martin said.

"Children with autism they need to be in social settings for their development into school. They need to have a structured environment so they can go into school and they can function with the other children," Gainforth said.

Martin said she is trying to do whatever she can to make Creed's life better. He already waited a year and a half for speech and language therapy.

"Whatever I can find out to help this little boy I need to do it for his sake, for my sake. ... Things are so slow in Newfoundland, I decided to keep that little boy out of school for one year to try to get him as much help as I could get him," she said.

Martin said she's heard of other families with the same trouble trying to access daycare.

"Where do you turn?" she asked.

"I will go into Confederation building and sit by some minister's door and I'll raise the flag until the flag is noticed for the sake of my child."

Roslyn Bennett, president of the Provincial Association of Daycare Administrators and also the owner operator of Kidcorp Learning Centre said it's not that daycares are refusing to take part-time placements or special needs kids, but there is a general shortage of daycare spaces in metro.

"It would depend on the location she contacted, whether or not they take part times. It depends on how full they are," Bennett said.

She said there is a shortage of trained daycare workers and she can't open any more facilities without the required number.

"I could potentially open five other locations, but I don't have (the trained) staff so I can't get the licence," she said.

And as for not allowing workers into daycares, she said there are two issues.

One is that because the parent is technically the employer of the worker - though funded by Eastern Health - the worker has no worker's compensation coverage.

The other issue is without the daycare being the employer, the worker would not be covered by the facility's insurance policy.

"We're liable and there is no coverage," Bennett said, adding in the past workers have been allowed in for children with various special needs.

"Insurance being what it is ... this is not being driven by daycares."

She said the association has been working with Eastern Health and the province to solve the problems.

One solution is an inclusion program that funds daycares to hire the worker and then they are covered.

But Bennett said space can be limited in the facilities themselves to accomodate the special needs workers.

Ted Quigley, operations manager of Rainbow Day Care Centre said in general there are waiting lists at daycares, but the facilities never discriminate on the basis of special needs.

"Our policy at Rainbow is we accept all children," Quigley said.

He said all of the "inclusion program" workers at Rainbow are employees of Rainbow and agreed there can be an insurance issue with those who are not, but the operation has tried to accommodate where possible.

A spokeswoman for the Department of Child, Youth and Family Services, which will take over responsibility for such programs this year from the regional health authorities, said the inclusion program offers various options to support children with special needs in child care.

Those include funding for the child-care centre operator to hire a person to support the special needs' child.

The department said while daycares are regulated by government, it is up to the operator to determine if they full up and Martin should meet with a regional inclusion consultant if she is having trouble.

bsweet@thetelegram.com

Organizations: Provincial Association, Kidcorp Learning Centre, Care Centre Department of Child Youth and Family Services

Geographic location: St. John's, Newfoundland

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5

Thanks for voting!

Top of page

Comments

Comments

Recent comments

  • pathetic
    July 02, 2010 - 13:33

    consider this one more statistic in support of a public funded daycare for all canadians to use. br br obviously private daycare's are just not up to the task of educating young children or even looking after them especially if they have special needs.

  • Leigh
    July 02, 2010 - 13:32

    Our province should be more in line with other provinces that ofter junior (at 4yrs) and senior kindergarten (5yrs), which is also full days and there is actual school prep.

    Perhaps the government needs to look closer at this....it may be the solution.

    Daycare spaces are limited and not all offer actual pre-school prep. Essentially, the majority are a place for kids to play and socialize.

  • Sarah
    July 02, 2010 - 13:31

    Wanda, i really feel for you since you are family. I didnt know you were going through this, i know last time we talked you said you would like to get our kids together. If you still got my number give me a call, if not contact mom she has it. Also one of my best friends has a kid who is 3 years old and undiagnosed with autism but we're 99% sure thats what he has, i can arrange for all the kids to get together one day. im just a phone call away if you needs help with anything at all :)

  • Wondering
    July 02, 2010 - 13:30

    Was this lady and her son featured in the telegram before? I seem to remember an article about a family moving here from another province voicing opinions about the lack of options available in this province for children with autism.....I may be wrong

  • Manuel
    July 02, 2010 - 13:30

    Daycare isnt part of the education system. It is a private facility that gives a place to go while there parents work or do whatever they do.
    With that being said there are spaces in daycares that are used up by kids who's parents arent working just want their kids out of their hair. As well as all the kids from woman on social assistance that have their kids in daycare. I have 2 neighbours that have kids in daycare and they are both on welfare and do nothing all day. They just want their kids out of their hair for a few hours.
    This is a waste of money. You had that child now raise it. Stop putting the onus on us that dont have kids or have waited til we were financialy independent enough to do so.
    You made a bad choice and got pregnant when you couldnt properly raise a child and now everyone wants it to be poor me i have a child you all need to take responsibilty for.
    Well im not and refuse to. I was on the streets at the age of 14 and there was noone to help me. Yet i am alive and doing well running an international network that allows me to sit in my house all day and collect donations.
    Get a job people and make better choices in life. Stop making everyone else pay for your mistakes.

  • Citizen XIV
    July 02, 2010 - 13:30

    Yes, we should all be like Manuel Clarke: smug, self-righteous, loudmouths. How do you know your neighbours are getting social assistance and why are you watching them all day? You sound a little creepy, m'lord.

  • Confederation
    July 02, 2010 - 13:29

    Just drop him off in Danny's office. I am sure he will fit right in with the other children that try to pass themselves off as politicians. Danny functions at the same level as a three year old, so your child would have that much better a chance to see how not to behave.

  • Adam
    July 02, 2010 - 13:28

    I would just like to agree with some of the points made here. Specifically those regarding adaquate pay for workers in the ECE field. Who wants to go to school, put themselves tens of thousands of dollars in debt, and then come out making the same as a call center agent, or really just about anyone now that Minimum wage is on the rise. There will only continue to be an issue here as the ability of young people to simply take jobs with little to no responsibility and even less training required, become increasingly appealing. Why would a young person, 18-22 subject themselves to the same if not more problems then an elementary school teacher and only reap percentage points of the finacial rewards, with out the few months of the year off?
    Honestly, it appears that the province will continue to take advantage of the system, whereby it has students that barely squeak through high school, that enter community college and private colleges and will take whatever is easiest. Honestly I think its a poor system and parents are having to suffer for it.

    Good luck in your Quest Wanda.

  • Babs from the bay
    July 02, 2010 - 13:27

    As the mother of a child with autism, I understand Wanda's situation. My guess is that it was her priority to have her son work with his ABA therapist for as many hours as she could get because the one on one interaction does work. Children with autism need to be taught things that most children learn simply by watching others. Until recently, there was no allowance for peer social interaction in the ABA program, now there is a 10 hour per week allowance. My son did not even look at other children until he was almost 3.5, let alone interact with them. Each child is different and there are challenges that come with autism that affect each child in varying degrees. Before you judge, walk a mile in Wanda's shoes...you'll probably learn something!

  • parent of autism
    July 02, 2010 - 13:27

    We are the parents of a beautiful and bright little boy who has a dx of Autism and has had to work harder than the typical child to gain strides, maintain previous developmental challenges, learn to speak and still advance through his young life as he has just entered his K year. We have given up full time jobs,spent a great amount of our own personal finances, availed of every single service and rearranged our whole life to accomodate our child.We would do it again in a heartbeat. All of our hard work including his is paying off.Eastern Health, in particular Child Health Community Services, is only ever considered to be part of our family to us. They have helped us grow and move ahead and they have shared our hurt initially, our cries our laughter and all of our efforts. I can only ever commend them. Speech Services at the Janeway are adequate once you are in and I fail to see the reason why children are referred to speech pathologists in school as children are not seen there anyways.Ask me I know. We have always paid for private SLP which is expensive. The gov. would be better off extending the Janeways speech services and seeing a greater number of children for longer. Is there an SLP shortage ?

    Is it not a discrimination issue ? A human rights issue ? For no matter what the reason,that a child with Autism cannot attend a daycare due to technicalities ? Cannot some reform be put into place that can quickly correct this ? And for those owning private daycares I do not want any daycare worker assigned to my child. I have picked one special person who he has built a rapore with and who knows his issues and understands them intimately. She is his ABA Therapist and it is her I want at the daycare with him. By the way the Confederation Daycare accepted my son graciously as a special needs child there and the staff there were beyond accepting and great. Even though we had him on a gluten/casein free diet of our own choosing and were willing to bring his own foods they even made special things for him. They by far excelled with regards to other daycares we have been affiliated.They also accepted our ABA Therapist and oftem looked to her for advice.There are inclusion consultants that can be requested to assess these children and the daycares so I do not really buy what Rainbow and Mrs. Bennet are saying. Have you gone through the inclusion consultants or even inquired ?

    Autism is a very diverse physiological NOT just mental issue and as parents we have found most people are uneducated and ignorant in their remarks and thoughts about it. Sorry to the public but it is true.

    To the government I would like to say that Autism for certain is on the rise. Look at the statistics. Until it is your own child affected or until your sons and daughters come to you with pain in their heart and sorrow for their child you, or any other member of the public, will not know the true meaning of what it is to have a child with Autism. It is alot of every single effort and emotion that there is in the world. Soon enough one of your own families will be affected by it and you will understand. Newfoundland is lucky to have the ABA services that they do, I just wish it were for longer. While they do pay for an ABA therapist, whose rate of pay is I believe 12.98 an hour we still supplement her pay. ABA Therapists do not get paid enough. Look at the job they are doing closer and take advice from those in management who know their efforts not the general publics opinions or people who are sitting down behind desks and do not even know what Autism is.

    Do I wish my child our our lives were any different ? No I do not. We have a beautiful smart affectionate little boy and alot of great people in Community Health who have helped us the most along the way. They are the people and the parents you need to listen to about Autism. They are living it everyday.

    Most daycares are uneducated about Autism as are schools.We are our sons biggest advocates and we always will be.

  • lorraine
    July 02, 2010 - 13:24

    why not try the ymca programs, or sunday school, or get togethers with the neighbourhood kids or your friend's children. This may get you out of a bind for awhile.

  • Julia
    July 02, 2010 - 13:20

    To Manuel Clark: Where does this story say the mother is asking for money? I didn't see anything about her not taking responsibility for her child, or anything about her finances being an issue! She can't find a spot in daycare, and her child needs to be with other children before he gets into a school setting. Has nothing to do with a so-called lack of money. Has nothing to do with her wanting other people to pay for her mistakes, either. Stop being so self-righteous and learn to read.

  • Tim
    July 02, 2010 - 13:20

    Lack of Daycare is a problem in general for everyone, so I can only imagine how frustrating it must be for someone with a special needs child.

    It is time for some kind of reform for provinical and/or federal daycare.

    The price of houses alone these days forces both parents to work. Not to mention a 2L of milk.

    It is very hard to get your child enrolled in a daycare, there are very long waiting lists.

    Daycare should be considered part of the education system in my opinion.

  • Cheri
    July 02, 2010 - 13:19

    Manuel Clark, you are an idiot. Don't speak about things of which you clearly know NOTHING. It has nothing to do with wanting someone else to take care of her son. It's a part of therapy for a child diagnosed with Autism. We have a child with Autism, financially-speaking, we are very well off; our son had to do the same thing. I would take the time to explain how going to daycare with his worker is a crucial part of furthering this child's social skills, but you are simply not worth the effort. I wish the lady success and hope she's able to find a daycare spot for her son, and I wish for her a lifetime free of morons like you.

  • lynette
    July 02, 2010 - 13:19

    I think it is rediculous that in this day and age that such facilities do not have at least one worker that has special needs workers.here in ontario all daycare centers/prescools have inhanced support workers for special needs workers.My son is 4 and has Autism .He is currently enrolled in preschool and they have agreed to allow him to transition slowly to junior K .so next september he will attend junior k maybe 2 days a week while attending preschool 3 mornings a week. br I think alot of this problem is the fear of being uneducated about Autism .We had this problem at our church,I had to give up my time in church to escort him to sunday school so that he wouldn't be shuffled out to the nursery with the babies. br now he attends the class of his age group and I sit with him.no one wants to be his helper so I do it.It's only now after making a effort to inform the children's ministry workers about autism and typed up a list of things to do to handle him in certain situations and tips on how communicate with him that now I have finally had the teachers offer to take turns with me so I get atleast one or two sundays a month in church.His self esteem i noticed has also been boosted siting in his own peer group. br br You really have to be proactive and I would encourage any parent of a child on the spectrum to do the same.Don't give up.It should not be up to the parent to find inhanced support they should be provided.existing teachers at my son's preschool did further training so when there is a need like my son the school doesn't have to hire another person the support is already there and it is a government run preschool.We are not a large center either an we have access to such services. br br We are from newfoundland originally and right now after hearing this discouraging news I am glad we are here right now. br br Out of 23 children there are two other kids with autism and three teachers for all.They handle things in a organized manner and have done wonders for our son. br br It is uneducated individuals like mr. manuel clark who made comments to the effect that daycares are only for women who want to get the children out of their hair for a few hours and women on social assistance who are home all day should look after their kids themselves just shows the ignorance aout autism that still exists.I myself am not on social assistance but i am a stay at home mom until oth of my children are in school full time.I would be more than happy to homeschool my child full time.However I know that would not benefit my child who has ASD at all.I put his needs before my own.If you do not live with Autism in your home is hard to imagine the stress we go through.and to have problems such as childcare adding to the mix is really poor support from the government. br br One of the aspects about autism spectrum disorder is the lack of social interaction and communication skills because of their neurodevelopmental disorder .Autism knows no oundries where a persons financial status is concerned.and when a child is diagnosed with ASD socialization in a daycare/preschool is so important to help them learn social and communication skills with other children.Also they need to learn a new routine introduced over time so that when they transition into JK or SK they do well with little disruption since ASD individuals thrive on strict routines.If they are to become productive members of society and not become dependents on society then we have to change our thinking and do what ever early intervention that is needed for ASD kids and other special needs children.Est of luck mz. martin with your and creed's journey to acceptance into a reputable program that will facilitate your needs.

  • Linda
    July 02, 2010 - 13:19

    I totally agree with X. You don't have to put your children in a daycare for social interaction. Looking for social interaction at 5 is a little late don't you think. Social interaction should begin much sooner than 5.

  • NewfieGal
    July 02, 2010 - 13:17

    Manuel, you are seriously not thinking about going there? Your post has absolutely nothing to do with the story? You have no right to assume that every woman who is on assistance with children in daycare are lazy! Before you start typing away and giving people your two cents worth, stop and think what you are saying first, you don't know those womens backgrounds, your going by how your two neighbors live? And even then nobody knows their neighbors inside out. Get the full story behind the women staying at home while their kids are in a daycare system that lets them deal with other children their age. I'm home all day, my husband goes to work, all my kids are in school, so does that make me a lazy person? The hardest job on this earth is being a mother, just ask yours.

  • paula
    July 02, 2010 - 13:17

    I think maybe it's time Eastern health became these people's employers instead of paying someone else to write the cheque to keep them off the government books and not paying them any benefits or even workers compensation. Some of these people work in voilent situations at times and the government is ok with no workers compensation coverage!

  • Concerned
    July 02, 2010 - 13:16

    Wanda, I have a 4 year old with autism who will be going to school this fall and it is really scary as we know there is no provision and very little help for autistic children going to school. They have a special need but are expected to sit in a class of 25 and learn like everyone else, bur we know it just does not work that way. I understand your situation and I hope this helps. We bring our child to a lot of playgroups on the family centers and it helps, they make different crafts and play games and interact with other children. I know this is no substitute for daycare but maybe it will help. I really hope everything works out for you.

  • Concerned Parent
    July 02, 2010 - 13:15

    I can only imagine the difficulty this parent is facing! Child care is one of the most difficult and stressful things a parent has to go through and there is limited quality childcare available even for those without special needs. I completely agree that there is a general shortage of childcare spots in the metro area (and perhaps even more in rural areas of the province). br br I placed my daughter on a waitlist for childcare (for a spot when she was one) when I was 4 months pregnant!!! Thinking I was being proactive-I was told when she was 6 months old that there was no spot available for her because her birthday didn't work out with others in the class??? Huh? After hearing this news, we began a frantic search for good quality childcare and were disappointed to see that there were not many quality options avaliable to us (regulated or unregulated). Lucky for us, three months of searching and interviewing resulted in finding a wonderful woman to look after her- the only downfall is that she is an hour from our house! br br While we would LOVE to have more children, given the stress and strain of finding and securing good quality childcare for my daughter, we are thinking twice about going through this again! The child care system is one of the first places our children begin learning and interacting with others- we need it to be of good quality and accessible to all who wish to avail of it!

  • michelle
    July 02, 2010 - 13:13

    As for Linda and X, if you knew what you were talking about it would be nice. These children under go 30hrs of one on one therapy every week. For some of these children it is very intense.
    Not too mention SLP and OT appointments. Most children with autism do begin daycare until around 1 year before they start kindergarden. Even then they spend 15hrs per week one on one therapy at home. I know know this first hand, I am a mother of a 8 year old boy with autism. As well I also work with children on the spectrum. People need to be educated about autism and other neurological disorders.

  • CeAnne
    July 02, 2010 - 13:12

    Manual...some people who are on social assistance don't need to be on the system they are able to go out and get a job...but there are others that are on the system because there is nothing else for them to do...example they could have a whole load of medical problems or have costly medical expenses...so for people like that sometimes have no choice but to be on the system....and the children they have, have a right to be able to go to daycare...it is a social environment for the children...all children should be to have the option to go to daycare...it only helps them...being with there parent or parent 24 hrs a day 7 days a week don't help..they need to be with kids there own age. Don't frown on those on assistance..some are there because they really have no other choice......but they don't want to be there.

  • Cheri
    July 02, 2010 - 13:12

    For the reader X who made the comment about why she waited so long to introduce her child into a daycare setting, did it ever dawn on you that perhaps there were more pressing issues to deal with until now? Our son couldn't tolerate leaving the house until he was 3, couldn't speak until he was 4, and had severe feeding and toileting issues. It was only until all these problems were dealt with could we then entertain the notion of teaching him how to socialize. We were busy spending day and night in the Janeway up until then. Parents of children with ASD or other similar challenges: look at what you put up with! I'm not talking about the difficulties you face at home, I'm referring to the ignorant comments made here today. Imagine; as if it's not hard enough at home (and no, it's not all bad) but to have to face this type of scrutiny from the general public. God forbid someday one of these people have to face what we face. I'd feel sorry for their child. Keep the faith, Wanda. Fight the good fight! : )

  • Calvin
    July 02, 2010 - 13:12

    CheerBear got it exactly right, childcare is not worth being educated for becuase there is no money to be made. My spouse makes way more looking after 2 children in our home than she did working at a daycare. It allows her to stay at home with our own children and still have a good income. In other provinces in Canada the provincial government will either match the pay of the employer (daycare) or top it up to a certain amount to entice people to work in the industry. This is one thing Danny and his crew need to work on. I am a Williams supporter, but daycare needs in Newfoundland are escalating beyond the capabiities of the current workforce, and there are no incentives to attract people to this field. And unless the government decides to step up and provide more money for employers to use to attract workers, wages will not increase. If wages increase without governments help, then the daycares start charging more for a child and people will not be able to afford to pay for the care. Call it what you want, education or health care, but something needs to happen in the form of government funding to improve the availability and quality of childcare in Newfoundland.

  • Joanne
    July 02, 2010 - 13:11

    Sarah, why didn't you just give Wanda a phone call yourself ? A nice personal conversation would have been better than publishing this for everyone to read. If she's part of your family, someone must have her phone number,
    and known about her struggling situation.

    Manuel, I certainly agree with some of what you are saying. I, also, know of people on social assistance who do not work and their children are in daycare, which the working taxpayers are paying for. One set of parents have three children in daycare. Yes, parents, not a single parent.

    There are genuine cases, and Wanda is one of them. A lot of times, it's also who you know.
    Good Luck, Wanda, to you and your son. God bless you.

  • X
    July 02, 2010 - 13:10

    Why only look for interaction with other children now. This should have been done much much earlier. The YM/YWCA have many sessions children can attend where they can interact with other children. If he had joined the YM/YWCA programs, Tiny Tumblers, Muppett Mornings etc. he would have been prepared for school. Why wait until he HAS to attend school to have him interact with children. Looks like blame here should be with his mother, not the system. There are many other avenues that will have children interact, other than daycare.

  • Concerning
    July 02, 2010 - 13:09

    I would have to agree with Manuel on some aspects.

    I have seen first hand, people that I know, on assistance and should not be in the first place (i.e living in housing, collecting a welfare cheque, getting baby bonus and all the other cheques, having a drug card and not having to pay a cent for anything .... all at the same time, having their boyfriends/girlfriends living with them, but using another address). They sit home all day on their butts expecting the government to foot the bill for them because they decided at 15 or 16 years of age to have unprotected sex and end up pregnant. This is total b.s.

    I have also seen these same people with big flat screen tvs, all the top of the line gaming systems and accessories, not to mention when they want a car they somehow have the money to go get one.

    While these people are home sitting on their rear ends doing nothing but watching the soaps, they send their kids to daycare (being paid for by the government), while people that are out working (or want to work) cannot put their kids in daycare because the space is not there.

    You walk into a daycare and there are more kids there with parents on welfare, than working parents.

  • CheerBear
    July 02, 2010 - 13:09

    There's a shortage of workers becuase workers in that field dont' get paid enough. Who wants to go to post secondary school to make $11 an hour?

    We pay people the same to flip burgers as we do to take care of our children. Which is more important and why do salaries not reflect that?

  • D
    July 02, 2010 - 13:08

    I agree with Manual... It is the system... The gov should not allow parents on welfare to just put their kids in daycare unless they are trying to better themselves and are in school or something.. Our taxes are paying for it... It shouldnt' be allowed, and if that was cut out then alot of other parents would not have such an issue getting their kids in daycare as there would be spaces available...

  • pathetic
    July 01, 2010 - 20:22

    consider this one more statistic in support of a public funded daycare for all canadians to use. br br obviously private daycare's are just not up to the task of educating young children or even looking after them especially if they have special needs.

  • Leigh
    July 01, 2010 - 20:20

    Our province should be more in line with other provinces that ofter junior (at 4yrs) and senior kindergarten (5yrs), which is also full days and there is actual school prep.

    Perhaps the government needs to look closer at this....it may be the solution.

    Daycare spaces are limited and not all offer actual pre-school prep. Essentially, the majority are a place for kids to play and socialize.

  • Sarah
    July 01, 2010 - 20:20

    Wanda, i really feel for you since you are family. I didnt know you were going through this, i know last time we talked you said you would like to get our kids together. If you still got my number give me a call, if not contact mom she has it. Also one of my best friends has a kid who is 3 years old and undiagnosed with autism but we're 99% sure thats what he has, i can arrange for all the kids to get together one day. im just a phone call away if you needs help with anything at all :)

  • Manuel
    July 01, 2010 - 20:19

    Daycare isnt part of the education system. It is a private facility that gives a place to go while there parents work or do whatever they do.
    With that being said there are spaces in daycares that are used up by kids who's parents arent working just want their kids out of their hair. As well as all the kids from woman on social assistance that have their kids in daycare. I have 2 neighbours that have kids in daycare and they are both on welfare and do nothing all day. They just want their kids out of their hair for a few hours.
    This is a waste of money. You had that child now raise it. Stop putting the onus on us that dont have kids or have waited til we were financialy independent enough to do so.
    You made a bad choice and got pregnant when you couldnt properly raise a child and now everyone wants it to be poor me i have a child you all need to take responsibilty for.
    Well im not and refuse to. I was on the streets at the age of 14 and there was noone to help me. Yet i am alive and doing well running an international network that allows me to sit in my house all day and collect donations.
    Get a job people and make better choices in life. Stop making everyone else pay for your mistakes.

  • Wondering
    July 01, 2010 - 20:19

    Was this lady and her son featured in the telegram before? I seem to remember an article about a family moving here from another province voicing opinions about the lack of options available in this province for children with autism.....I may be wrong

  • Citizen XIV
    July 01, 2010 - 20:17

    Yes, we should all be like Manuel Clarke: smug, self-righteous, loudmouths. How do you know your neighbours are getting social assistance and why are you watching them all day? You sound a little creepy, m'lord.

  • Confederation
    July 01, 2010 - 20:16

    Just drop him off in Danny's office. I am sure he will fit right in with the other children that try to pass themselves off as politicians. Danny functions at the same level as a three year old, so your child would have that much better a chance to see how not to behave.

  • Adam
    July 01, 2010 - 20:16

    I would just like to agree with some of the points made here. Specifically those regarding adaquate pay for workers in the ECE field. Who wants to go to school, put themselves tens of thousands of dollars in debt, and then come out making the same as a call center agent, or really just about anyone now that Minimum wage is on the rise. There will only continue to be an issue here as the ability of young people to simply take jobs with little to no responsibility and even less training required, become increasingly appealing. Why would a young person, 18-22 subject themselves to the same if not more problems then an elementary school teacher and only reap percentage points of the finacial rewards, with out the few months of the year off?
    Honestly, it appears that the province will continue to take advantage of the system, whereby it has students that barely squeak through high school, that enter community college and private colleges and will take whatever is easiest. Honestly I think its a poor system and parents are having to suffer for it.

    Good luck in your Quest Wanda.

  • Babs from the bay
    July 01, 2010 - 20:15

    As the mother of a child with autism, I understand Wanda's situation. My guess is that it was her priority to have her son work with his ABA therapist for as many hours as she could get because the one on one interaction does work. Children with autism need to be taught things that most children learn simply by watching others. Until recently, there was no allowance for peer social interaction in the ABA program, now there is a 10 hour per week allowance. My son did not even look at other children until he was almost 3.5, let alone interact with them. Each child is different and there are challenges that come with autism that affect each child in varying degrees. Before you judge, walk a mile in Wanda's shoes...you'll probably learn something!

  • parent of autism
    July 01, 2010 - 20:14

    We are the parents of a beautiful and bright little boy who has a dx of Autism and has had to work harder than the typical child to gain strides, maintain previous developmental challenges, learn to speak and still advance through his young life as he has just entered his K year. We have given up full time jobs,spent a great amount of our own personal finances, availed of every single service and rearranged our whole life to accomodate our child.We would do it again in a heartbeat. All of our hard work including his is paying off.Eastern Health, in particular Child Health Community Services, is only ever considered to be part of our family to us. They have helped us grow and move ahead and they have shared our hurt initially, our cries our laughter and all of our efforts. I can only ever commend them. Speech Services at the Janeway are adequate once you are in and I fail to see the reason why children are referred to speech pathologists in school as children are not seen there anyways.Ask me I know. We have always paid for private SLP which is expensive. The gov. would be better off extending the Janeways speech services and seeing a greater number of children for longer. Is there an SLP shortage ?

    Is it not a discrimination issue ? A human rights issue ? For no matter what the reason,that a child with Autism cannot attend a daycare due to technicalities ? Cannot some reform be put into place that can quickly correct this ? And for those owning private daycares I do not want any daycare worker assigned to my child. I have picked one special person who he has built a rapore with and who knows his issues and understands them intimately. She is his ABA Therapist and it is her I want at the daycare with him. By the way the Confederation Daycare accepted my son graciously as a special needs child there and the staff there were beyond accepting and great. Even though we had him on a gluten/casein free diet of our own choosing and were willing to bring his own foods they even made special things for him. They by far excelled with regards to other daycares we have been affiliated.They also accepted our ABA Therapist and oftem looked to her for advice.There are inclusion consultants that can be requested to assess these children and the daycares so I do not really buy what Rainbow and Mrs. Bennet are saying. Have you gone through the inclusion consultants or even inquired ?

    Autism is a very diverse physiological NOT just mental issue and as parents we have found most people are uneducated and ignorant in their remarks and thoughts about it. Sorry to the public but it is true.

    To the government I would like to say that Autism for certain is on the rise. Look at the statistics. Until it is your own child affected or until your sons and daughters come to you with pain in their heart and sorrow for their child you, or any other member of the public, will not know the true meaning of what it is to have a child with Autism. It is alot of every single effort and emotion that there is in the world. Soon enough one of your own families will be affected by it and you will understand. Newfoundland is lucky to have the ABA services that they do, I just wish it were for longer. While they do pay for an ABA therapist, whose rate of pay is I believe 12.98 an hour we still supplement her pay. ABA Therapists do not get paid enough. Look at the job they are doing closer and take advice from those in management who know their efforts not the general publics opinions or people who are sitting down behind desks and do not even know what Autism is.

    Do I wish my child our our lives were any different ? No I do not. We have a beautiful smart affectionate little boy and alot of great people in Community Health who have helped us the most along the way. They are the people and the parents you need to listen to about Autism. They are living it everyday.

    Most daycares are uneducated about Autism as are schools.We are our sons biggest advocates and we always will be.

  • lorraine
    July 01, 2010 - 20:10

    why not try the ymca programs, or sunday school, or get togethers with the neighbourhood kids or your friend's children. This may get you out of a bind for awhile.

  • Julia
    July 01, 2010 - 20:03

    To Manuel Clark: Where does this story say the mother is asking for money? I didn't see anything about her not taking responsibility for her child, or anything about her finances being an issue! She can't find a spot in daycare, and her child needs to be with other children before he gets into a school setting. Has nothing to do with a so-called lack of money. Has nothing to do with her wanting other people to pay for her mistakes, either. Stop being so self-righteous and learn to read.

  • Tim
    July 01, 2010 - 20:02

    Lack of Daycare is a problem in general for everyone, so I can only imagine how frustrating it must be for someone with a special needs child.

    It is time for some kind of reform for provinical and/or federal daycare.

    The price of houses alone these days forces both parents to work. Not to mention a 2L of milk.

    It is very hard to get your child enrolled in a daycare, there are very long waiting lists.

    Daycare should be considered part of the education system in my opinion.

  • Cheri
    July 01, 2010 - 20:02

    Manuel Clark, you are an idiot. Don't speak about things of which you clearly know NOTHING. It has nothing to do with wanting someone else to take care of her son. It's a part of therapy for a child diagnosed with Autism. We have a child with Autism, financially-speaking, we are very well off; our son had to do the same thing. I would take the time to explain how going to daycare with his worker is a crucial part of furthering this child's social skills, but you are simply not worth the effort. I wish the lady success and hope she's able to find a daycare spot for her son, and I wish for her a lifetime free of morons like you.

  • lynette
    July 01, 2010 - 20:01

    I think it is rediculous that in this day and age that such facilities do not have at least one worker that has special needs workers.here in ontario all daycare centers/prescools have inhanced support workers for special needs workers.My son is 4 and has Autism .He is currently enrolled in preschool and they have agreed to allow him to transition slowly to junior K .so next september he will attend junior k maybe 2 days a week while attending preschool 3 mornings a week. br I think alot of this problem is the fear of being uneducated about Autism .We had this problem at our church,I had to give up my time in church to escort him to sunday school so that he wouldn't be shuffled out to the nursery with the babies. br now he attends the class of his age group and I sit with him.no one wants to be his helper so I do it.It's only now after making a effort to inform the children's ministry workers about autism and typed up a list of things to do to handle him in certain situations and tips on how communicate with him that now I have finally had the teachers offer to take turns with me so I get atleast one or two sundays a month in church.His self esteem i noticed has also been boosted siting in his own peer group. br br You really have to be proactive and I would encourage any parent of a child on the spectrum to do the same.Don't give up.It should not be up to the parent to find inhanced support they should be provided.existing teachers at my son's preschool did further training so when there is a need like my son the school doesn't have to hire another person the support is already there and it is a government run preschool.We are not a large center either an we have access to such services. br br We are from newfoundland originally and right now after hearing this discouraging news I am glad we are here right now. br br Out of 23 children there are two other kids with autism and three teachers for all.They handle things in a organized manner and have done wonders for our son. br br It is uneducated individuals like mr. manuel clark who made comments to the effect that daycares are only for women who want to get the children out of their hair for a few hours and women on social assistance who are home all day should look after their kids themselves just shows the ignorance aout autism that still exists.I myself am not on social assistance but i am a stay at home mom until oth of my children are in school full time.I would be more than happy to homeschool my child full time.However I know that would not benefit my child who has ASD at all.I put his needs before my own.If you do not live with Autism in your home is hard to imagine the stress we go through.and to have problems such as childcare adding to the mix is really poor support from the government. br br One of the aspects about autism spectrum disorder is the lack of social interaction and communication skills because of their neurodevelopmental disorder .Autism knows no oundries where a persons financial status is concerned.and when a child is diagnosed with ASD socialization in a daycare/preschool is so important to help them learn social and communication skills with other children.Also they need to learn a new routine introduced over time so that when they transition into JK or SK they do well with little disruption since ASD individuals thrive on strict routines.If they are to become productive members of society and not become dependents on society then we have to change our thinking and do what ever early intervention that is needed for ASD kids and other special needs children.Est of luck mz. martin with your and creed's journey to acceptance into a reputable program that will facilitate your needs.

  • Linda
    July 01, 2010 - 20:01

    I totally agree with X. You don't have to put your children in a daycare for social interaction. Looking for social interaction at 5 is a little late don't you think. Social interaction should begin much sooner than 5.

  • NewfieGal
    July 01, 2010 - 19:57

    Manuel, you are seriously not thinking about going there? Your post has absolutely nothing to do with the story? You have no right to assume that every woman who is on assistance with children in daycare are lazy! Before you start typing away and giving people your two cents worth, stop and think what you are saying first, you don't know those womens backgrounds, your going by how your two neighbors live? And even then nobody knows their neighbors inside out. Get the full story behind the women staying at home while their kids are in a daycare system that lets them deal with other children their age. I'm home all day, my husband goes to work, all my kids are in school, so does that make me a lazy person? The hardest job on this earth is being a mother, just ask yours.

  • paula
    July 01, 2010 - 19:57

    I think maybe it's time Eastern health became these people's employers instead of paying someone else to write the cheque to keep them off the government books and not paying them any benefits or even workers compensation. Some of these people work in voilent situations at times and the government is ok with no workers compensation coverage!

  • Concerned
    July 01, 2010 - 19:57

    Wanda, I have a 4 year old with autism who will be going to school this fall and it is really scary as we know there is no provision and very little help for autistic children going to school. They have a special need but are expected to sit in a class of 25 and learn like everyone else, bur we know it just does not work that way. I understand your situation and I hope this helps. We bring our child to a lot of playgroups on the family centers and it helps, they make different crafts and play games and interact with other children. I know this is no substitute for daycare but maybe it will help. I really hope everything works out for you.

  • Concerned Parent
    July 01, 2010 - 19:54

    I can only imagine the difficulty this parent is facing! Child care is one of the most difficult and stressful things a parent has to go through and there is limited quality childcare available even for those without special needs. I completely agree that there is a general shortage of childcare spots in the metro area (and perhaps even more in rural areas of the province). br br I placed my daughter on a waitlist for childcare (for a spot when she was one) when I was 4 months pregnant!!! Thinking I was being proactive-I was told when she was 6 months old that there was no spot available for her because her birthday didn't work out with others in the class??? Huh? After hearing this news, we began a frantic search for good quality childcare and were disappointed to see that there were not many quality options avaliable to us (regulated or unregulated). Lucky for us, three months of searching and interviewing resulted in finding a wonderful woman to look after her- the only downfall is that she is an hour from our house! br br While we would LOVE to have more children, given the stress and strain of finding and securing good quality childcare for my daughter, we are thinking twice about going through this again! The child care system is one of the first places our children begin learning and interacting with others- we need it to be of good quality and accessible to all who wish to avail of it!

  • michelle
    July 01, 2010 - 19:52

    As for Linda and X, if you knew what you were talking about it would be nice. These children under go 30hrs of one on one therapy every week. For some of these children it is very intense.
    Not too mention SLP and OT appointments. Most children with autism do begin daycare until around 1 year before they start kindergarden. Even then they spend 15hrs per week one on one therapy at home. I know know this first hand, I am a mother of a 8 year old boy with autism. As well I also work with children on the spectrum. People need to be educated about autism and other neurological disorders.

  • CeAnne
    July 01, 2010 - 19:49

    Manual...some people who are on social assistance don't need to be on the system they are able to go out and get a job...but there are others that are on the system because there is nothing else for them to do...example they could have a whole load of medical problems or have costly medical expenses...so for people like that sometimes have no choice but to be on the system....and the children they have, have a right to be able to go to daycare...it is a social environment for the children...all children should be to have the option to go to daycare...it only helps them...being with there parent or parent 24 hrs a day 7 days a week don't help..they need to be with kids there own age. Don't frown on those on assistance..some are there because they really have no other choice......but they don't want to be there.

  • Cheri
    July 01, 2010 - 19:49

    For the reader X who made the comment about why she waited so long to introduce her child into a daycare setting, did it ever dawn on you that perhaps there were more pressing issues to deal with until now? Our son couldn't tolerate leaving the house until he was 3, couldn't speak until he was 4, and had severe feeding and toileting issues. It was only until all these problems were dealt with could we then entertain the notion of teaching him how to socialize. We were busy spending day and night in the Janeway up until then. Parents of children with ASD or other similar challenges: look at what you put up with! I'm not talking about the difficulties you face at home, I'm referring to the ignorant comments made here today. Imagine; as if it's not hard enough at home (and no, it's not all bad) but to have to face this type of scrutiny from the general public. God forbid someday one of these people have to face what we face. I'd feel sorry for their child. Keep the faith, Wanda. Fight the good fight! : )

  • Calvin
    July 01, 2010 - 19:49

    CheerBear got it exactly right, childcare is not worth being educated for becuase there is no money to be made. My spouse makes way more looking after 2 children in our home than she did working at a daycare. It allows her to stay at home with our own children and still have a good income. In other provinces in Canada the provincial government will either match the pay of the employer (daycare) or top it up to a certain amount to entice people to work in the industry. This is one thing Danny and his crew need to work on. I am a Williams supporter, but daycare needs in Newfoundland are escalating beyond the capabiities of the current workforce, and there are no incentives to attract people to this field. And unless the government decides to step up and provide more money for employers to use to attract workers, wages will not increase. If wages increase without governments help, then the daycares start charging more for a child and people will not be able to afford to pay for the care. Call it what you want, education or health care, but something needs to happen in the form of government funding to improve the availability and quality of childcare in Newfoundland.

  • Joanne
    July 01, 2010 - 19:47

    Sarah, why didn't you just give Wanda a phone call yourself ? A nice personal conversation would have been better than publishing this for everyone to read. If she's part of your family, someone must have her phone number,
    and known about her struggling situation.

    Manuel, I certainly agree with some of what you are saying. I, also, know of people on social assistance who do not work and their children are in daycare, which the working taxpayers are paying for. One set of parents have three children in daycare. Yes, parents, not a single parent.

    There are genuine cases, and Wanda is one of them. A lot of times, it's also who you know.
    Good Luck, Wanda, to you and your son. God bless you.

  • X
    July 01, 2010 - 19:46

    Why only look for interaction with other children now. This should have been done much much earlier. The YM/YWCA have many sessions children can attend where they can interact with other children. If he had joined the YM/YWCA programs, Tiny Tumblers, Muppett Mornings etc. he would have been prepared for school. Why wait until he HAS to attend school to have him interact with children. Looks like blame here should be with his mother, not the system. There are many other avenues that will have children interact, other than daycare.

  • Concerning
    July 01, 2010 - 19:44

    I would have to agree with Manuel on some aspects.

    I have seen first hand, people that I know, on assistance and should not be in the first place (i.e living in housing, collecting a welfare cheque, getting baby bonus and all the other cheques, having a drug card and not having to pay a cent for anything .... all at the same time, having their boyfriends/girlfriends living with them, but using another address). They sit home all day on their butts expecting the government to foot the bill for them because they decided at 15 or 16 years of age to have unprotected sex and end up pregnant. This is total b.s.

    I have also seen these same people with big flat screen tvs, all the top of the line gaming systems and accessories, not to mention when they want a car they somehow have the money to go get one.

    While these people are home sitting on their rear ends doing nothing but watching the soaps, they send their kids to daycare (being paid for by the government), while people that are out working (or want to work) cannot put their kids in daycare because the space is not there.

    You walk into a daycare and there are more kids there with parents on welfare, than working parents.

  • CheerBear
    July 01, 2010 - 19:44

    There's a shortage of workers becuase workers in that field dont' get paid enough. Who wants to go to post secondary school to make $11 an hour?

    We pay people the same to flip burgers as we do to take care of our children. Which is more important and why do salaries not reflect that?

  • D
    July 01, 2010 - 19:43

    I agree with Manual... It is the system... The gov should not allow parents on welfare to just put their kids in daycare unless they are trying to better themselves and are in school or something.. Our taxes are paying for it... It shouldnt' be allowed, and if that was cut out then alot of other parents would not have such an issue getting their kids in daycare as there would be spaces available...