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Province hosting a Prince George public hearing to help kids with neuro-diverse special needs

The government is seeking feedback from families as it tries to improve assessment processes
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The provincial government is trying to improve assessment and eligibility processes for kids with special needs.

The all-party Select Standing Committee on Children and Youth who are undertaking this project focusing on youth with neuro-diverse special needs, which includes Autism Spectrum Disorder, Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder, or developmental delays.

The committee wants feedback from all British Columbians and will be hosting public hearings throughout the province, including in Prince George on May 22.

"Families of children and youth with neuro-diverse special needs may navigate a number of pathways, services and providers over the course of a child's journey," said Nicholas Simons, committee chair and MLA for Powell River-Sunshine Coast in a news release.

"The committee is looking to better understand those experiences and explore opportunities to improve assessment and eligibility processes."

The committee invites British Columbians to share their input and experiences by speaking with the committee at one of the public hearing sessions, or by making a written submission by 5 p.m., June 7, 2019.

After it has gathered information during this period, the committee will release a report with recommendations to the legislative assembly by the early fall.

"We are interested in hearing directly from parents, caregivers and other stakeholders about barriers and challenges, and how processes and supports can be simplified," said Michelle Stilwell, deputy chair and MLA for Parksville-Qualicum in the release.

"The committee wants to find solutions that better serve children and youth with neuro-diverse special needs and their families."

The public hearing in Prince George takes place on May 22 at the Civic Centre (808 Canada Games Way) from 3:30 to 7:30 p.m.

Speaking timeslots will be 15 minutes each and that includes 10 minutes for a presentation and five minutes for questions.

You will have to register beforehand through the committee’s website, where you can also submit a written, audio, or video submission.




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Hanna Petersen

About the Author: Hanna Petersen

Born and raised in Prince George, Hanna Petersen is a graduate of UNBC. She then abandoned her hometown for the East Coast, graduating with a bachelor of journalism from the University of King's College in the process.
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