Update on the new Ontario Autism Program
Announced in March 2016, the new Ontario Autism Program will make it easier for families to access services for their children by reducing wait times and providing more flexible services at a level of intensity that meets each child's individual needs. It will also increase the number of treatment spaces available to serve more children and youth and accommodate the rising prevalence of autism diagnoses.
On June 28th, Ontario enhanced its transition plan for the new program to better support all children with autism, while improving supports for those families most affected by the transition to the new program. This includes:
- Accelerating the implementation of the Ontario Autism Program, so more children and youth can receive the services they need sooner. The new program will begin in June 2017, one year earlier than originally planned.
- Providing service continuity for families whose children are over five and are being transitioned off the IBI waitlist. These families will be provided with the option to choose continuous direct funding to purchase supports based on their child's individual needs or immediate and continuous access to ABA services.
- Improving access to diagnostic services to allow for earlier diagnosis and treatment.
- Strengthening resources for families, including comprehensive one-on-one supports to help them navigate the transition to the new program.
- Enhancing autism supports in schools to help children transition to, and continue in, full-time school.
Families affected by these changes, or who have questions about the new Ontario Autism Program, can call 1-888-284-8340 for information, or contact their Ministry of Children and Youth Services regional office or their service provider.
Detailed information and helpful resources for parents of children with ASD on the new Ontario Autism Program can be found on the ministry's website: www.ontario.ca/autism