NDP stands up for kids with special needs

September 29, 2013

Today Premier Darrell Dexter announced the NDP will make it easier and quicker for children with special needs to get the services they need with a five-step plan that puts families first.


“Nothing means more to a parent than knowing their child can get the best start in life. Under the NDP we’ve worked with families to make getting support easier but there is still more to do,” said Dexter.

The three-year, $6-million NDP five-step plan will:

* Invest in Early Intervention Programs to eliminate the current waitlist and reduce future wait times.

* Increase salaries for Early Intervention Program staff to help with staff recruitment to reduce the waitlist.

* Create a team of Family Navigators based out of the IWK Health Centre who will be the main point of contact for each family receiving early intervention services. The family navigator will work directly with the family to develop a care plan, coordinate necessary care providers and pull in specialists and therapists as needed.

* Ensure a family-centered approach to serve families with more than one child with special needs.

* Provide more flexibility for families who need respite care.

“Every parent knows the pride they feel when they see their child crawl for the first time. Parents want to know that their children are developing the way they should. The NDP will make sure that kids who need extra support will get it so they can grow up to reach their full potential,” said the NDP leader.

Jan and Mary Ellen Rainey, parents of a five-year-old son who has Down Syndrome said, “We are excited to see such a significant commitment. Removing barriers to accessing early intervention services will be a huge benefit to young children with special needs. It’s so important to give them the best start possible in life so that they can go on to develop the skills they need to be active, contributing members to their communities.”

“Stephen McNeil doesn’t understand health care and has said he wants to do the same things the Liberals did in 1999, which closed 1,600 hospital beds, forced 1,000 nurses out of the profession and froze long-term care beds. The one sure way to stop that is to vote for your NDP candidate,” said Dexter.

The NDP will: deliver better health care where and when people need it, fight for good jobs and stronger communities, keep the HST off home energy and take it off more family essentials, give our kids a better start, stand up for seniors, build the Maritime Link and keep the budget balanced to protect services for families.

 Election day is Tuesday, October 8.