I am a Pakistani and Canadian citizen. I can feel your pain as my 10 years old son was also diagnosed as having moderate Autism. He was diagnosed at age 2 in Canada (2004). At that time he was put on a long waiting list for ABA / IBI services. Even though we lived in a locality that had pilot projects and more than usual funding (Markham, Ontario), we were told by the service providers that based on the waiting list of people already diagnosed before him and their anticipation, he will likely not be able to start receiving the necessary ABA / IBI services at least till he is 4.5 or 5 years old. And the cut off age for provision of these services was (and I believe still is) 6 years.

They tend to focus on younger kids (younger than 4 years, understandably), but due to long waiting list many kids grow older than 6 without receiving those necessary services / training. It was too expensive to afford those services privately (in the tune of 100s of dollars per hour), so when my son was 2.5 years old (early 2005), I decided to move my family out of Canada, to where I could afford most of those services even if with some compromised standards. I am happy that not only my son has improved from moderate to a mild case, from losing all speech to gaining a lot of speech now, going to a regular school for a short while with shadow teacher, along with me being much better off financially than I was or would likely have been in Canada. As it actually turned out to be, he would not have received any of those necessary ABA / IBI services had I stayed in Canada till his age 6 i.e. the cutoff time for provision of those services, because sometime around late 2005/early 2006 they broadened the definition of Autism and the wait list actually grew rather than getting shrunk.

Do some research on the Internet (I did and still do from time to time), read some blogs of parents of Autistic kids in Canada, and you will find out that Canada is worst among the developed western countries when it comes to providing support for the autistic children (and other related challenges). The lifetime cost of raising, training and maintaining life of an autistic child appropriately can touch the level of millions of dollars in USA / Canada and equivalent of crores of rupees in Middle East and South Asia.

I agree with the advice of Mr. UAE above. There are many illusions associated with the west. I have been there, done that. With money you can buy all that Canada or any other country can provide you, and that of course without the very poisonous side effects on you and your family/children. If you are rich and strong after a decade or more of hard work, the developed countries of that time would desire that you move to their country to work, to do business, to spend your savings there, to benefit their country with your presence. Do not let it be the other way around. Moving to Canada at this time might actually ruin your life.

One more very important thing, in the west as it is now, you are either assimilated or isolated. No matter what one can do, with few exceptions, next generations of most people get assimilated with time. It is like asking your kids to go out in the category 4 or 5 hurricane + mega storm with an umbrella and expecting that they will not get wet. I have seen hundreds, perhaps thousands of such examples of those “wet” kids / families, and very few exceptions. It is not just about risking your religious / cultural values, it is not just about losing the bond between you and your kids / grand kids, it is practically about finances and money as well.

You will very likely be better off financially too if you do not move to Canada at this critical stage in your life, even after paying for the health care, special child services, etc. in Middle East, which you are likely to avail in Canada. Do not turn your life upside down just based on few illusions about Canada and the West, and advice by people who do not have first hand knowledge of things, and perhaps are just too innocent and / or too impressed with the superficial development and success of the West.

Let me give you a small example just to describe what I mean by the illusion. There is a reason why people from Canada, USA and Europe go to other countries for medical tourism. Let’s assume one makes equivalent of 7 Lacs PKR (appx. 7000 C$) a month in KSA or say UAE. For the same amount earned in Canada you will be paying equivalent of more than 3 Lacs in direct and indirect taxes (income tax, GST, property taxes, etc.). Now lets say you get sick and need a routine (non-emergency) ultrasound. Now in Canada your family physician will recommend that and you will be put in the waiting list of the nearest (or farther but with better wait time) hospital. The routine ultrasound appointment might take about 6 to 8 weeks in most provinces in Canada (you can check the wait times online). Now even when you are paying a lot of taxes to the government you are put in line (waiting list) along with those lazy welfare hunters paying no taxes, living in govt subsidized slums, and there is nothing you can do to get that ultrasound early even though diagnosis based on that ultrasound might prove to be time-critical. Now in KSA or UAE or Pakistan, you can just pay a tiny amount from PKR 1000 to PKR 10,000 (= 10 to 100 C$) depending on your medical insurance or lack there of, and get that same or better more detailed / desired service on same day or next day. Similar is the case with many other illusions of the west that we have.

I have a lot to say on this issue, but the post is already too long. Just stay there in KSA, and only if there are no good services for your child available there, perhaps think of applying for a similar position in Abu Dhabi (which is also oil based economy). There are many good / affordable autism related service centers in Dubai (more than Abu Dhabi), like the ones in Dubai Health Care City e.g. Dr. Singhania’s Clinic, Stepping Stones, etc. So you can perhaps live in Dubai and work in Abu Dhabi, even though I think you can also easily get basic autism related services anywhere including KSA (speech therapy, behavior intervention, clinical therapy etc.) on pay per visit basis.

I am not saying there are no good things about Canada. In fact there are MANY. But if you can afford you can buy/avail most of those things anywhere in the world without screwing your life in the process.

The same and only God as in Canada — Allah — can and will Insha Allah help you without upsetting your life.

IA, KSA replied on Thursday, October 18, 2012 02:09 PM PST

Very logical sincere advice, May Allah Almighty give you reward. Could you please write your e-mail ID at

A Friend replied on Thursday, October 18, 2012 03:25 PM PST

Dear Tahir:

Any good points for canada

I did mention in the post above that there are indeed MANY good points about Canada. Most of us already know what those are, so I did not go into that. It is a developed first world country like USA, Western Europe and very much like Australia. Comparatively speaking it is generally a more tolerant and less racist society than USA. Basically, it is a welfare state where the state tries to take care of its nationals and non-national residents. It has great infrastructure, natural resources and seems to have brighter future than USA. Canada has good relations with its practically only neighbor USA. Does not have a habit of waging wars on other nations so with less spending on defence it can allocate more budget for its people.

However, by no means Canada is an ultimate paradise on earth. It has its own major issues. It is a heaven for those who are too lazy to work (Category L: Lazy) or too rich (Category R: Rich) that they do not have to work. The life is quite hard for those people who want to work or have to work (Category: H for hard work). These Category H people mostly serve both Category L and R people. These working class people are the ones who pay the major chunk of their income as taxes to support the benefits for the people who do not want to work or cannot work (Category: L).

Moreover, in general Canada has more corruption than USA, and considerably lower standards of services and products compared with USA.

Basically, Mix a little bit of Pakistan (current PK, may Allah make it better. It has huge potential.) in the USA, shake it well and you get Canada. I hope you will understand.

So, the BOTTOM LINE is if you are in Category L (Lazy) or R (filthy Rich), you might like to live in Canada. But if you are Category H (Hardworking Professional, Skilled/Non Skilled, or small Entrepreneur), in general you will be giving more to Canada than getting from Canada, until you cross the ceiling and move to Category R or go through the floor and join Category L (more likely) which BTW is below poverty level by Canadian standards.

desiperdesi replied on Thursday, October 18, 2012 02:30 PM PST

Salaam and thanks all for for detailed replies, myself 32, kid turning 3 years next month.

My son is on waiting list for ABA which i hope will be starting early next year as of Jan 2013 plus for Speech therapy I hope he will get enrollment by June 2013 as waiting time for that is even longer.

I am happy that my son is improving with time, he can count up to 12 and after the jumps to random number, say ABC almost complete, express by speaking things that he need for eating like PEPSI, PANI, DODU, JUICE, YUM YUM, CHOCOLATE, ICE CREAM he calls by either saying my name or by saying daddy and calls her mother as Mama and have very good observations and can solve puzzles boards with alphabets, cars or vegetables in seconds. Plus operate ipad / iphone and computer by himself as he loves you tube where he watches his favorite cartoons most of the time and do it all by himself.

Hoping that my son will start making sentences as myself and wife are trying our best to make him speak and so far we are successful.

I moved to KSA recently so will see all the possible options in KSA before pulling my son/wife from Canada, next week my son has appointment with psychologist and will see how to move on from there onward.


Hussain Kaisrani replied on Thursday, October 18, 2012 03:34 PM PST

@ A Friend,
Thank you so very much for sharing your expertise, information and great wisdom with us. Every single word of your post has depth in it. Personally speaking, I was attracted to this page (in 2005) after reading Mr Hyder Ali’s post in which he explained his vision about Bahria Town Sector C. And after about 7 years this post has touched my heart. I have no doubt that this page is a great source of learning for not only property related matters but also for practical life issues.
A friend, YOU are a great friend. I am highly obliged for your time. May Allah give you the best reward.

Haroon replied on Thursday, October 18, 2012 03:40 PM PST

Dear “A Friend” ,

very god analysis and good post even for those who are already in Canada / west. I have a situation , a bit similar to yours and was wondering if i can have your email/phone to discuss with you.

My 2 years old daughter is diagnosed with Hyper IGE syndrome and i live in KSA and have Canadian citizenship. There is no hospital in KSA (covered by any insurance company) where i can get her advanced level treatment.My immunologist has asked me to move to Canada for her and get treatment from there. Treatment for Hyper IGE is somewhat closer to autism treatment,i learned through my research on internet.

I have no insight to Canadian health system for this disease.So i wanted to have a some insight to system.


A Friend replied on Thursday, October 18, 2012 07:12 PM PST

@ Mr. Hussain Kaisrani

I have great respect and admiration for you ever since we first met along with Mr. CMY, Haider Ali and Raheem Sahib, at that restaurant on M.M. Alam road, Lahore, around the end of 2005. Like Haider Ali, I mostly just want to be silent observer and occasionally share thoughts where necessary. The sole purpose of sharing is if it benefits even a single person, may be Allah will accept that and bless us in ways that He knows better.

@ Mr. Haroon

Hyper IGE syndrome is an extremely rare disease. In fact I have heard of it first time in your post. I did a little bit search online to find out what it is. Since according to some hypothesis Autism is also caused by an hyper active immune system, may be the causes of Autism and Hyper IGE syndrome are similar and I guess there may be some benefit in trying Gluten Free, Casein Free diets and other similar techniques used (and heavily debated) for Autism. However despite some possible similarity between cause, the effects of Autism and Hyper IGE syndrome seem very different.

That little 2 years old princess deserves the best treatment she can get, and it seems indeed in Middle East (and perhaps even in Canada) it will be quite hard to treat. You should assess your individual condition and options and then decide. Moving her to Canada might perhaps be best option in your case. But do a thorough research about treatment options in Canada before you take a major step in that direction.

My post was basically intended for the general audience and specifically for Mr. DesiPerdesi’s situation where he was all set with a good job in Middle East and I am very well aware that for the very mild, high functioning case of Autism of his child, it obviously seems best in his interest to carry on the job in Middle East to provide for his family in Canada or move them to middle east as last resort (where his child can be treated reasonably well, like in Canada), but not leave the job and put his family into years of uncertainty with possibly bad consequences. Your case is very special and you might be forced by circumstances to move your daughter to Canada for necessary treatment.

@ Mr. IA, KSA
(Assuming you are different from Mr. Haroon)

Kindly share your thoughts here, so that I and possibly others too may be able to contribute if we can, and learn from each other. Thanks.

Haroon replied on Friday, October 19, 2012 04:21 AM PST

Just for the information of people who has a dear one suffering from autism.
Autism is caused by hyper active immune system and so is Hyper IGE syndrome. May be you already know that Raw camel milk has some properties which help to correct the overall immune system. There is an Isreali Professor Dr. Yagil has done an intensive research on camel and camel milk properties. He suggests that using raw camel milk not only stops the symptoms of autism but in some cases he observed that disease has gone. More details are can be found by doing a little search on internet.

imranshah939 replied on Saturday, October 20, 2012 10:05 AM PST

thanks mates,
these are really helpful experience sharing but can anybody share experience from Australia, i am planning to migrate to Australia In Sha Allah, i will highly appreciate if someone can guide me for the pros and cons of living in Australia, currently i am living in UAE.

Allah is little Princess ko jald sahat kamila aataa farmaaye.