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Canada Deems Son With Asperger's 'Inadmissible' - featured June 24, 2011

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The Canadian government has given one family an impossible choice: live your comfortable life in Toronto for a short while and then be asked to leave the country forever, or choose to stay -- but find somewhere else for your son because, unfortunately, his medical condition is far too inconvenient for the nation.

Tom Reynolds, a professor of theology at the University of Toronto, is trying to make sense of the Canadian government's decision to deny his family's immigration application. He and his two young sons, 17-year-old Evan and 21-year old Chris, have lived in Canada for four years now, and they are keen on staying. But Chris suffers from Asperger's and Tourette syndromes, two conditions that have had made life very different for the young American transplant.

Too different, it seems, for Canada to bear. The country's immigration agency has informed the family that the mere prospect of footing the bill for young Chris' condition might be utterly catastrophic, a supposed financial black hole for Canadian taxpayers. In fact, it turns out that Canadian officials have not looked into the matter very well. Chris' father is a tenured professor at a premier university, and he has been paying for his Chris' treatment out of pocket -- no small feat. Tom's employer provides additional means of financial support for Chris' medical needs, and so the "burden" on taxpayers should not be the issue.

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Tags: News of the Week Aspergers Syndrome Autism Newsletter 24 June 2011