A Fort Saskatchewan family are in a difficult situation.
Micheal Buck's son was diagnosed with autism when he was two years-old. To ensure he would be supported in his education and receive the help he needed, the family moved to Fort Saskatchewan because of the city's multiple education programs for special needs children.
This year however, the family were informed funding for these programs is being reviewed by the provincial government. They should have more information on the province's plans in March, but with registration for schools now open, it puts families in a difficult position.
"It makes it a little harder to register when you don't know what you're going to be registering for or whether or not those programs are available," explained Buck. "As a special needs family... there are already lots of stresses. This is just one more."
According to Buck, he and his family spoke to counselors, teachers and educational assistants, but they also were unsure about the future of the programs.
"It's just making a lot of extra stress, trying to come up with more options just in case these programs are discontinued," he added. "We just wanted other families to know that you're not alone."
With his son almost finished elementary school and getting ready to go to junior high, Buck explained the programs have been extremely beneficial for his son, helping him get through the curriculum and having an aid ensure he stays focused.
Some special needs programs in Fort Saskatchewan include Parent Advocates Linking Special Services (PALSS), Learning – Individual Needs, Knowledge and Skills (LINKS) and Program Unit Funding (PUF).
Elks Island Public Schools is refraining from commenting until the provincial budget has been tabled.