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Autism wait lists growing

TORONTO—Thousands more Ontario children with autism are on waiting lists for treatment than they were 10 years ago.

And government figures suggest the number of kids receiving treatment actually is dropping.

The NDP submitted a Freedom of Information request for the numbers of children with autism spectrum disorders on wait lists for Intensive Behavioural Intervention and Applied Behaviour Analysis.

In 2005-06, there were 753 kids waiting for IBI and now there are 2,192.

In 2011-12, when ABA funding began, there were 2,784 kids on the wait list and now there are 13,966, though some children may be on both lists.

Estimates from the Ministry of Children and Youth Services show that only five more children were expected to receive IBI treatment this year than last.

Meanwhile, the number for ABA dropped from 8,445 to 8,000—though some children may receive more than one ABA treatment in a year.

Minister Tracy MacCharles said the government constantly is working to improve the services it provides.

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