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Home本期文章安省備受爭議的自閉症兒童資助計劃

【新聞後記】安省備受爭議的自閉症兒童資助計劃

 

母親節快樂!5 月第 2 個星期日,是一年一度的母親節。正當不少孝子賢孫安排與母親或祖母飲茶食飯慶祝之際,安省自閉症兒童的母親今年可能並不快樂,甚至對前景感到憂慮無助,因為省府在 2 月初宣佈大幅更改對自閉症兒童治療的撥款方式,目前獲省府全額資助密集式療程的自閉症兒童,日後的資助金額將大幅減少。雖然省府先後作出讓步,並宣佈推出全面咨詢,但新政策並沒有被煞停,自閉症兒童的家庭將承受沈重的財務壓力。

安省兒童、社區及社會服務廳長麥克勞德(Lisa MacLeod)2 月初宣佈,鑑於現時對自閉症兒童治療的撥款方式只能惠及大約 8 千 4 百人,對長達 2 萬 3 千名在等候名單上的自閉症兒童及其家人並不公平,故保守黨政府須要就撥款方式作出重大改革,包括:

1)省府將直接資助確診患上自閉症的兒童。6 歲以下的每名自閉症兒童,每年可得到2萬元的治療費用,至 18 歲時最多可得到 14 萬元;6 到 18 歲的兒童每年的治療費用為 5 千元,最多可獲 55,000元。

2)新項目將附帶經濟狀況審查,收入超過 25 萬元的家庭不會獲得任何資助。

3)未來兩年內向 5 個診斷中心增加1倍資金至每年 550 萬元,解決有 2 千 4 百名兒童等候專家確診的問題。目前這些兒童平均要等待 31 個星期。

4) 4 月 1 日正式實施。

省府強調,新資助計劃每年成本為 3.21 億元,與前朝自由黨政府的項目金額相同,所以絕非削減撥款,主要目的是希望撥款制度更公平及消除長達 2 萬 3 千人的輪候資助名單,讓安省所有 4 萬名自閉症兒童獲得相同水平的資助。

新撥款政策引發強大不滿聲音

然而,新計劃宣佈後隨即引發廣泛爭議,自閉症兒童家長及關注團體先後多次冒著嚴寒天氣,到省議會外舉行大型示威抗議集會,表達訴求;亦有以較小規模的方式,輪流到不同省議員辦公室外示威抗議。他們反對新資助模式的主要原因包括:

1)目前被認為較有效幫助及改善自閉症兒童的密集治療方法「應用行為分析」(Applied Behaviour Analysis,簡稱 ABA),平均每月要 4 千至 8 千元。在新制度下,6 歲以下每年 2 萬元的治療費用,只是實際開支的大約三份一;若 6 歲以上每年只得 5 千元的資助,更只足以應付一個月的治療開支。一般家庭即使賣樓賣車也不能承受如斯沈重的經濟負擔。

2)若因經濟問題而未能負擔密集式治療方法,自閉症小朋友將無可選擇地重回一般缺乏特殊教育資源的公校就讀,不單未能為自閉症兒童提供適合的幫助,更直接影響全班教學進度,將令整個公校系統增添無形壓力。

3)不應一刀切單純以年齡作為撥款標準,因為病情因人而異,須要治療的時間及密度也大一樣。較佳方法是由臨床心理學家為自閉症兒童作出評估後,再根據病情決定應獲得的撥款,病情嚴重的應獲較多資助金額。

4)推行過於急促。於新政策宣佈後不足 2 個月後的 4 月 1 日實行,不論小朋友、家長、治療中心,以致公校教師均未有足夠時間作好準備。

省府多番作出讓步

面對龐大不滿聲音,福特政府首先宣布增加對自閉症學生的支持經費,進入學校系統的每位自閉症新生,平均獲撥款 12,300 元,用於加強對教師的培訓,包括網上培訓,亦包括額外的資格課程;各教育局還將獲得資金,用於拓展自閉症學童的課後活動項目。之後,一向以強硬施政手法見稱的保守黨政府更罕有地作出讓步,於 3 月下旬宣布調整具爭議的自閉症資助計劃,包括延長現有自閉症兒童家長撥款六個月,同時取消對家庭經濟狀況的審查,所有家庭,包括高收入人士,都可以獲得全部資助金額。不過,家長的反對及示威聲音仍然不絕於耳。

到 4 月初,衞生廳長葉麗雅,教育廳長湯普森聯同麥克勞德,罕有舉行聯合記者會,宣布省府計劃增加自閉症兒童撥款一倍,並且會由 5 月 1 日開始,透過互聯網、電話及省議員圓桌會議的方法,全面諮詢家長及專業人士意見。然後把意見交由家長、自閉症成年人士及業界所組成的專責小組檢討,再向省府提供建議。

省府的多番讓步,令家長及老師稍微有喘息空間。5 月展開的全面諮詢,反映出省府在制訂今次自閉症資助計劃時,根本缺乏諮詢及急於推行。家長及業界希望省府能真正聆聽他們的聲音,不要作假諮詢,能制定出針對自閉症兒童撥款的長遠策略,避免每次新政府上場均要大幅修改。同時可借鏡部份美國州份,把自閉症列作必要的醫療疾病,由衛生部統籌治療方法,並非只是目前安省的其中一項社會福利政策而已。「身上肢體,我們看為不體面的,越發給他加上體面;不俊美的,越發得著俊美。」(林前十二:23)

 

喜樂 Joy

喜樂的心乃是良藥;憂傷的靈使骨枯乾。箴言 17:22
A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones. Proverbs 17:22

然而,我要因耶和華歡欣,因救我的 神喜樂。哈巴谷書 3:18
yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will be joyful in God my Savior. Habakkuk 3:18

要常常喜樂,不住的禱告,凡事謝恩。帖撒羅尼迦前書 5:16-17
Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-17

饒恕 Forgiveness

主啊,你本為良善,樂意饒恕人,有豐盛的慈愛賜給凡求告你的人。詩篇 86:5
You, Lord, are forgiving and good, abounding in love to all who call to you. Psalm 86:5

你不要說:“我要以惡報惡”;要等候耶和華,他必拯救你。箴言 20:22
Do not say, “I’ll pay you back for this wrong!” Wait for the LORD, and he will avenge you. Proverbs 6:14

你們饒恕人的過犯,你們的天父也必饒恕你們的過犯;馬太福音 6:14
For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. Matthew 6:14

你們不饒恕人的過犯,你們的天父也必不饒恕你們的過犯。馬太福音 6:15
But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins. Matthew 6:15

你們各人若不從心裡饒恕你的弟兄,我天父也要這樣待你們了。馬太福音 18:35
This is how my heavenly Father will treat each of you unless you forgive your brother or sister from your heart. Matthew 18:35

謙卑 Humility

敬畏耶和華是智慧的訓誨;尊榮以前,必有謙卑。箴言 15:33
Wisdom’s instruction is to fear the LORD, and humility comes before honor. Proverbs 15:33

敬畏耶和華心存謙卑,就得富有、尊榮、生命為賞賜。箴言 22:4
Humility is the fear of the LORD; its wages are riches and honor and life. Proverbs 22:4

凡事不可結黨,不可貪圖虛浮的榮耀;只要存心謙卑,各人看別人比自己強。腓立比書 2:3
Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves. Philippians 2:3

但他賜更多的恩典,所以經上說:神阻擋驕傲的人,賜恩給謙卑的人。雅各書 4:6
But he gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says:“God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.” James 4:6

驕傲 Pride

驕傲來,羞恥也來;謙遜人卻有智慧。箴言 11:2
When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom. Proverbs 11:2

驕傲只啟爭競;聽勸言的,卻有智慧。箴言 13:10
Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves. Proverbs 13:10

驕傲在敗壞以先;狂心在跌倒之前。箴言 16:18
Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall. Proverbs 16:18

但他賜更多的恩典,所以經上說:神阻擋驕傲的人,賜恩給謙卑的人。雅各書 4:6
But he gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says:“God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.” James 4:6

忍耐 Patience

愚妄人怒氣全發;智慧人忍氣含怒。箴言 29:11
Fools give full vent to their rage, but the wise bring calm in the end. Proverbs 29:11

並且你們要為我的名,被眾人恨惡,惟有忍耐到底的,必然得救。馬可福音 13:13
Everyone will hate you because of me, but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved. Mark 13:13

不但如此,就是在患難中也是歡歡喜喜的。因為知道患難生忍耐。羅馬書 5:3
Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance. Romans 5:3

我們行善,不可喪志;若不灰心,到了時候就要收成加拉太書 6:9
Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Galatians 6:9

你們也當忍耐,堅固你們的心,因為主來的日子近了。雅各書 5:8
You too, be patient and stand firm, because the Lord’s coming is near. James 5:8

溫柔 Meekness

回答柔和,使怒消退;言語暴戾,觸動怒氣。箴言 15:1
A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. Proverbs 15:1

溫柔的人有福了,因為他們必承受地土。馬太福音 5:5
Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth. Matthew 5:5

用溫柔勸戒那抵擋的人;或者 神給他們悔改的心,可以明白真道。提摩太後書 2:25
Opponents must be gently instructed, in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth. 2 Timothy 2:25

只要以裡面存著長久溫柔、安靜的心為妝飾;這在 神面前是極寶貴的。彼得前書 3:4
Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight. 1 Peter 3:4

嫉妒 Envy

不要為作惡的心懷不平,也不要向那行不義的生出嫉妒。詩篇 37:1
Do not fret because of those who are evil or be envious of those who do wrong. Psalm 37:1

心中安靜是肉體的生命;嫉妒是骨中的朽爛。箴言 14:30
A heart at peace gives life to the body, but envy rots the bones. Proverbs 14:30

在何處有嫉妒、紛爭,就在何處有擾亂和各樣的壞事。雅各書 3:16
For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice. James 3:16

生氣 Anger

當止住怒氣,離棄忿怒;不要心懷不平,以致作惡。詩篇 37:8
Refrain from anger and turn from wrath; do not fret—it leads only to evil. Psalm 37:8

好生氣的人,不可與他結交;暴怒的人,不可與他來往。箴言 22:24
Do not make friends with a hot-tempered person, do not associate with one easily angered. Proverbs 22:24

愚妄人怒氣全發;智慧人忍氣含怒。箴言 29:11
Fools give full vent to their rage, but the wise bring calm in the end. Proverbs 29:11

生氣卻不要犯罪.不可含怒到日落。以弗所書 4:26
In your anger do not sin: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry. Ephesians 4:26

我親愛的弟兄們,這是你們所知道的,但你們各人要快快的聽,慢慢的說,慢慢的動怒,因為人的怒氣並不成就 神的義。雅各書 1:19,20
My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires. James 1:19,20

災難 Calamity

謹守口與舌的、就保守自己免受災難。箴言 21:23
Those who guard their mouths and their tongues keep themselves from calamity. Proverbs 21:23

民要攻打民、國要攻打國、多處必有地震、饑荒.這都是災難的起頭。馬可福音 13:8
Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be earthquakes in various places, and famines. These are the beginning of birth pains. Mark 13:8

憂愁 Worry

你們不要憂愁、因靠耶和華而得的喜樂是你們的力量。尼希米記 8:10
Do not grieve, for the joy of the LORD is your strength. Nehemiah 8:10

主雖使人憂愁, 還要照他諸般的慈愛發憐憫。耶利米哀歌 3:32
Though he brings grief, he will show compassion, so great is his unfailing love. Lamentations 3:32

凡勞苦擔重擔的人,可以到我這裡來,我就使你們得安息。馬太福音 11:28
Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Matthew 11:28

我留下平安給你們、我將我的平安賜給你們.我所賜的、不像世人所賜的.你們心裏不要憂愁、也不要膽怯。約翰福音 14:27
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. John 14:27

應當一無掛慮,只要凡事藉著禱告、祈求和感謝,將你們所要的告訴神。神所賜出人意外的平安,必在基督耶穌裡,保守你們的心懷意念。腓立比書 4:6,7
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6,7

因此, 你們是大有喜樂, 但如今, 在百般的試煉中暫時憂愁。彼得前書 1:6
In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. 1 Peter 1:6

患難 Trouble, Suffering

義人多有苦難,但耶和華救他脫離這一切。詩篇 34:19
The righteous person may have many troubles, but the LORD delivers him from them all. Psalm 34:19

神是我們的避難所,是我們的力量,是我們在患難中隨時的幫助!詩篇 46:1
God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Psalm 46:1

耶和華本為善,在患難的日子為人的保障,並且認得那些投靠他的人。那鴻書 1:7
The LORD is good, a refuge in times of trouble. He cares for those who trust in him. Nahum 1:7

為義受逼迫的人有福了,因為天國是他們的。馬太福音 5:10
Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Matthew 5:10

不但如此,就是在患難中,也是歡歡喜喜的。因為知道患難生忍耐。羅馬書 5:3
Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; Romans 5:3

我想現在的苦楚,若比將來要顯於我們的榮耀,就不足介意了。羅馬書 8:18
I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. Romans 8:18

因為你們蒙恩,不但得以信服基督,並要為他受苦。腓立比書 1:29
For it has been granted to you on behalf of Christ not only to believe in him, but also to suffer for him. Philippians 1:29

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