Few people have that special touch, a miraculous skill, that relentless dedication to their profession that make an incredible difference in peoples' lives. This special lady Bernie who is a paediatric physiotherapist has all those qualities. My daughter had the good fortune to start seeing Bernie when she was just a few months old. She was very fragile and her future was very uncertain. Ashley needed Bernie's help to gain head control, roll over, use her arms to reach, and bear weight through her legs. I began to learn that she is one of the very best in her field and Ashley was so very lucky to have her on her team.
Because of this lady, Ashley is now a walker, and even a soccer player. Ashley has a new level of independence with her walker and every new accomplishment is like a gift. This did not come easy for Ashley but with Bernie's skills and advocating that Ashley received the adequate number if visits to make it happen, Ashley has now received a new level of freedom. You can't image how shocked and saddened I was to learn that Bernie's contract was recently cancelled by 1 to 1 Rehab. We need more physiotherapist like Bernie in the public sector.
At present CCAC's and Children's Treatment Centre’s in Ontario look more at the number of visits and block the child for treatment, rather then focusing on the child's ability to progress and to attain outcomes goals. There is just not enough funding for physiotherapy to provide the level of therapy to make a difference for the growing number of special needs kids in Ontario. We are lucky in that we can afford to supplement the government therapy with private therapy. That was also needed to get Ashley where she is today. Not all families are able to supplement the government therapy with private physiotherapy.
I wish I knew how to let the provincial government know many more kids need more therapy and that it really pays off in the long run. Many more skilled physiotherapist need to be hired to meet their needs. Kids who can walk and who are not confined to wheelchairs will function better and be happier adults. They will require less expensive health care and equipment if they can move about independently.
Dalton McGuinty, I know you want to build a brighter future for Ontario. Please don't forget about my girl. If it were not for Bernie, Ashley would not be where she is today. Bernie is someone that you want on your therapy team. There are many more kids in York region that would have benefitted from her service. Not all parents can afford private therapy. Physiotherapy should not be a luxury for kids who cannot walk, hold up your head, feed yourself or speak.
Kids here need more therapy and this isn't just a physiotherapy problem, it can be said for occupational and speech unfortunately. Ashley is enjoying and benefiting greatly from her current block of PT at CTN and but it is only an 8 week block. Ashley will have to sit out at least 8 weeks before starting again. Ashley will spend more time out of therapy then in therapy in the next year. Image if she regresses and doesn't have that opportunity to learn how to walk independently. Ontario has amazing therapists who are forced to work privately and many families can't afford this cost. Please don't let these children down. It's an uphill battle just to be a kid.