A speech-language pathologist says she is sick of seeing special needs kids running into bureaucratic obstacles when they try to get special dispensation to go to English school.
Under Bill 101 children must attend French school in Quebec unless their parents attended an English school in Canada.
There are exemptions for children with autism or learning difficulties but Lynda Wicki, who has been working as a speech-language pathologist in Quebec for 30 years, says they are not often applied or approved.
Wicki has been working with a child whose mother is Filipino and father is French.
She says six medical professionals wrote to the education ministry asking that the child attend English school, but the government refused them.
“They are getting therapy, one on one therapy, for hours and hours and we are making strong recommendations and then the government says no,” Wicki said.
She says she sees a few cases like this every year.
“How dare the government institution, based on paper, say they know better for your child?”
Wicki says the decision can be appealed but she feels the government is making it too difficult for parents and it will impact the child’s development.
“They can’t keep up with their peers, there’s a huge social implication, and any behavioral problems are going to exacerbate because they are frustrated because they can not follow along in French.”