TOWN OF MOUNT ROYAL, QUE. —
A family in the Town of Mount Royal says they feel their son is being pushed out of his private Montessori daycare.
Theo is two years old. He was diagnosed with autism in the spring, and his family says he was doing well at Garderie Académie Montessori Coeur, Ame et Esprit TMR.
“Every hour of the morning is extremely structured and that works really well for a kid with autism because it provides a lot of learning opportunities for them,” said Theo’s mother, Melis Bursin.
Viki McArthur, Theo’s therapist, agrees.
She says that Theo’s autism can make it difficult for him to complete tasks, and often needs physical assistance, or as McArthur calls it, “physical redirection.”
She says that when she first met him, he needed to be redirected about 60 times per hour.
“At the end of July, he was down to about seven times per hour,” said McArthur.
In light of his progress, she evaluated Theo and found that he only needs a part-time support worker, also called a shadow.
But despite the evaluation, the family says the daycare told them Theo can’t attend unless he has a full-time shadow.
“So, basically [from] 8:30 in the morning to 4:30 in the afternoon that I pick him up, he will need someone [with him full-time], otherwise he can’t attend,” said Bursin, who says the shadow’s extra time is costly.
“So, this is automatically an extra two grand on top of everything that we’re paying,” she…