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Mom vows to stay put for answers

For the past 22 days, single mom Maria Bunda has protested outside thefront doors of the provincial Legislature with a sign fixed atop herbackpack that reads: “Six-years-old, severely autistic boy, deniedtherapy, denied a chance.”

For the past 22 days, single mom Maria Bunda has protested outside the front doors of the provincial Legislature with a sign fixed atop her backpack that reads: “Six-years-old, severely autistic boy, denied therapy, denied a chance.”

Bunda, 47, silently paces back and forth in sweltering heat. She is found outside daily and vows to keep coming back until someone explains and reverses the decision to cut off provincial funding for her son Sebastian’s intensive behavioural intervention (IBI) therapy.

“He desperately needs it,” Bunda said. “I will be here as long as it takes, as long as I can.”

There are 1,513 autistic children waiting for provincially funded IBI treatment and another 389 waiting for assessments throughout the province. The longer children spend waiting, the harder it becomes to help.

Bunda is an oddity to the busloads of tourists who visit Queen’s Park during the summer. One group from China sent their translator to ask what the problem was. “In Canada, don’t they pay for everything in children’s health?” the translator asks.

“No they don’t,” said Bunda, a waitress from Hamilton who spends the little free time she has standing outside with her sign.

 
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