Kingston-Founded JUNO Nominees to Protest Autism Program Changes

Published on: 2019/03/06 - in News

Six-time JUNO nominated children’s entertainers Splash’N Boots will be marching with kids and parents tomorrow to protest recent changes to the Ontario Autism Program.

Splash’N Boots – Nick Adams and Taes Leavitt – wrote in part: “The recent announcement of changes to the Ontario Autism Program leaves families on the hook for more money for costly treatment for their children beginning April 1, in less than two months time.”

“The one-size-fits-all approach of the new program that allocates the same amount of standard funding to children whose autism is mild to those who are in need of intense Applied Behavior Analysis therapy is ineffective and will put direct financial strain on families and education providers in Ontario,” the statement continues. “We ask that the government unfreeze the waitlist and resume services as before while consultation for a more effective solution for autism funding in Ontario can be defined.”

Splash’N Boots began as a class project while Adams and Leavitt were students at Queen’s University, and the duo have gone on to be nominated for a slew of awards with wins that include a SiriusXM award for ‘Favourite Children’s Artist of the Year’. Their show on Treehouse TV is viewed in more than 8.3 million Canadian homes and they have released 12 original albums.

The entertainers started a pen pal club in 2016 for children with autism called Lucas Letters, named for a 10 year old fan. They also set up special meet and greets for children on the spectrum, including kids who may not be able to attend the live shows.

Most recently, the two have been nominated for CHILDREN’S ALBUM OF THE YEAR at the 2019 JUNO Awards that will air Sunday, March 17 on CBC.

The march to protest changes to the Ontario Autism Program will take place at Queen’s Park in Toronto on Thursday, March 7, 2019 from 11am to 2pm.

Learn more at the event’s Facebook page.

UPDATE: Splash’N Boots posted a photo from the March 7 protest:

Photo: Splash’N Boots on Facebook