Katie Emde, of Midale, is an Autism advocate who fundraises and works with many families and businesses throughout Saskatchewan. Premier Wall's Throne Speech touched on funding for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder. It proposed giving $4000 yearly to families with autistic children six years of age and under.
"I heard what he had to say and I'm a little unsure what I think, I feel like he will be done now and someone new will be coming in and I feel like he can't really make promises for that new person," says Katie Emde.
The changes wouldn't come into effect until at least 2018. With this in mind, Emde has reservations about the funding. One of the flaws pointed out had to do with the age limit of 6 years old.
Emde, who works with MLA's, school divisions, health regions and numerous families to inform and build awareness around ASD, mentions that Premier Wall also sent her a letter outlining the funding. Emde, who hadn't contacted the Premier in some time, was surprised but pleased to receive the letter.
"It was kind of a shock and I think it was a smart political move on his part, sending this letter, you know we are connected to easily over 600 families province-wide," says Emde.
Emde mentions that ten years ago none of these topics were discussed, so even starting the conversation is a step forward. Any movement is positive, and movements take numbers so Emde encourages people to be vocal. The speech and the letter show that the government is trying to start a base conversation that grows from there and are making an effort for change.
"I feel like anything at this point, we're in 2017, anything is good, any type of movement going forward is positive," says Emde.
Emde appreciates the letter and that he hasn't forgotten the changes she is trying to make. Emde and the families she helps want results and only time will tell how the government handles ASD in the coming months and years.