I was reading the Hamilton Spectator today and I came across an article by Carmella Fragomeni, who is also the reporter that covered the story of what happened to our dog Max on Christmas. Carmella is a fantastic writer and she was very supportive of our situation, especially when she found out that our son Jacob has Asperger's. And this article also hit very close to home with us and I'm sure it will with you too.
The article is called "Canada doesn't want this autistic boy" and the full article can be read here http://www.thespec.com/news/local/article/687412--canada-doesn-t-want-this-autistic-boy
The article goes on to explain that a Korean family from Hamilton, Ontario, has been denied citizenship because the family's 12 year old son has autism. The Canadian government goes on to explain that they can't become citizens because of the extreme medical treatment costs associated with helping a child with autism. What? How can this be? The boys father is employed and is here on a work Visa until the summer.
The family has been in Canada for 9 years and it wasn't until 05/06 that now 12 year old Taehoon was diagnosed with autism. From what I've read, it turns out that Canada looks at autism as being a drain on our health care system. Our government doesn't take into account a family's employment status when they're considered for citizenship. The article in the paper version of the Spectator draws this comparison:
"By definition, Stephen Hawking would be denied a Canadian Citizenship, by virtue that his medical condition would be too much of a burden on our health care system."
Again, what? It's reported that Stephen Hawking has a net worth of approx 20 million dollars. So it appears that Canada is really dropping the ball here. I'd hate to think that my country would deny a citizenship just because someone has autism. The family has concerns about returning to Korea because autism is frowned upon in their country and Taehoon would not receive proper treatment. As such, there's an online petition that you can sign to help this family stay in Canada. If your interested in signing the petition, here's the link. http://www.gopetition.com/petitions/taehoon.html
WELCOME TO JIM'S AUTISM BLOG
Hi everyone and thanks for visiting our blog. My wife and I created this blog to chronicle our experience while raising a son with Asperger's syndrome. Since our son was diagnosed with an ASD at age 5, we've had a lot of questions. Lucky for us we have a great support network in place. And our blog gives us an opportunity to share what we've learned with our readers. We hope you find our blog informative and interesting. Thanks again for visiting.
"It seems that for success in science and art, a dash of autism is essential." Dr Hans Asperger 1906-1980