Ontario Newsroom

Enhancing Supports for Children and Youth with Special Needs

Archived News Release

Enhancing Supports for Children and Youth with Special Needs

Ontario Government Taking Action to Reduce Wait Times and Improve Services

Ontario is reducing wait times and improving how families of children and youth with special needs access the services they need, as close to home as possible.

With support from the province, up to an additional 1,300 children and youth served by Ontario's children's treatment centres will receive improved access to rehabilitative services, such as physical, occupational and speech therapy. The Ontario government is committed to expanding access to integrated rehabilitation services in full-day kindergarten classrooms by building on pilot programs.

More young people with autism will also benefit from improved access to Intensive Behavioural Intervention therapy, which helps decrease challenging behaviours, increase appropriate behaviours and promote development.

Improving access to services for children and youth with special needs and their families is part of the Ontario government's efforts to build a fair society for the benefit of all and help people with their everyday lives.

Quick Facts

  • Ontario is increasing annual funding to children’s rehabilitation centres by $5 million to reduce wait times and improve access to services.
  • Ontario funds 21 children's treatment centres across the province, providing service to more than 64,000 kids a year.
  • Ontario is also helping five northern children’s treatment centres improve their information systems so they can serve kids and families better.
  • These new supports are the first step in responding to recommendations from Tracy MacCharles, the former Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Children and Youth Services, on how to improve families’ experience finding information, navigating the system and transitioning from child and youth to adult services.

Additional Resources


“We heard from families about what they need to support their children and youth with special needs, and we took action. We remain committed to helping all children and youth in Ontario achieve their goals, and to fully participate at home, at school and in their communities.”

Teresa Piruzza

Minister of Children and Youth Services

“This investment in rehabilitation services will have an impact across the province. It will help Ontario’s Children Treatment Centres serve more children and youth and their families. On behalf of our members and the families they serve, we welcome the government’s continued commitment to building an Ontario in which all children and youth have the best opportunity to reach their potential.”

Jennifer Inkpen

Acting CEO, Ontario Association of Children's Rehabilitation Services

Media Contacts



Health and Wellness Home and Community Children and Youth Parents People with Disabilities