Ontario providing more autism therapy to young children

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Ontario providing more autism therapy to young children

Progress Report Shows 25 Per Cent More Children Receiving Therapy, 72 Per Cent Fewer Waiting For Assessment QUEEN'S PARK, ON, April 4 - The Ontario government has expanded its autism program for preschool-age children by more than 25 per cent in the past year, Children and Youth Services Minister Marie Bountrogianni reported today. "With over 110 new therapists hired, our autism program is providing behavioural therapy to more than 25 per cent more preschool-age children than one year ago," said Bountrogianni. "We exceeded our 20 per cent target since announcing our new autism strategy in March 2004, and continue to improve the supports the government provides to children with autism." As a result of the government's new initiatives, the number of children with autism waiting for assessment has decreased by 72 per cent - from more than 1,000 in March 2004 to 287 in March 2005. To provide support for school-aged children with autism, the province created a new School Support Program as part of its autism strategy. More than 130 new autism professionals have been hired to help teachers and educators support students with autism spectrum disorder. The program is now active in every school board in the province. "Through the expanded preschool program and the new school support program, we are now providing valuable support to children with autism at all ages," said Bountrogianni. "Our support is helping these children gain independence and confidence that will help them for the rest of their lives." Disponible en fran├žais www.children.gov.on.caFor further information: Andrew Weir, Minister's Office, (416) 212-7159; Anne Machowski-Smith, Ministry of Children and Youth Services, (416) 325-5156