Editor, The Gazette:
An open letter to Christy Clark and the Government of B.C.:
As a parent of a child with special needs and a professional in the field of support, it is very disheartening to observe the disconnect the Government of B.C. has with the children, youth and families of today. I want our voice to be heard before our daughter enters the public school system and therefore I write you this…
Today, more and more children are diagnosed with special needs. For instance, one in 88 children is now reported to have autism. But the umbrella of special needs covers so much more than just autism.
There has been a dramatic increase in cognitive, behavioural and special learning needs as well. And when these special children enter the school system, the degree to which their support needs are being met is questionable to say the least. Thank goodness B.C. teachers are taking a stand!
Yes, there is a dramatic increase in the number and degree of special needs in today’s society! So, yes there is an increased need in the schools and the community and yes more funding is required to meet that need!
B.C.’s special needs children and youth require specialized, individual direct service support in the education system and in the community. Please hear the plea of B.C.’s teachers. They want the best for all of B.C.’s children: smaller class sizes; more support for special needs and wages that support the increase in the cost of living…something ALL B.C. families would want as well and benefit from in turn.
In closing it is imperative to note that today’s research indicates that for every dollar invested in children and youth that the return is up to seven times the initial investment! That should be enough long-term motivation for you and your government, Christy. Perhaps even cutting wages of your government officials by two per cent could help re-invest some extra dollars into B.C.’s special children and our educational system? What a noble approach that would be!
Thank you for considering the needs of others first and addressing this emergent issue in a timely and respectful manner.
Laranna Cameo Androsoff, BA CYC
Parent & Advocate, Grand Forks, BC