Ontario Newsroom

Supporting Caregivers of Children and Youth with Autism

News Release

Supporting Caregivers of Children and Youth with Autism

Ontario Supporting Autism Services in the Greater Toronto Area

Ministry of Children and Youth Services

Ontario is providing support for counselling, workshops and peer support groups for parents of children with Autism Spectrum Disorder through a new investment in Scarborough's South Asian Autism Awareness Centre (SAAAC).

Michael Coteau, Minister of Children and Youth Services, was at the centre today to announce the investment in two SAAAC programs, which take a culturally sensitive approach to supporting newcomers and South Asian community families:

  • Assessment, Development, Empowerment (ADE) - providing parents and caregivers with information to help them navigate autism-related services, build a strong network of support and learn basic behavioural and communication teaching strategies.
  • SAAAC CARES Parental Mental Health Program - educating, empowering and supporting caregivers who require post-diagnosis emotional support and counselling as they build their knowledge.

The investment announced today is in addition to the new Ontario Autism Program, which began implementation in June 2017. The program is transforming how children and youth with Autism Spectrum Disorder and their families receive services and supports.The new Ontario Autism Program will ensure autism services for children and youth are delivered consistently across the province, allow for flexibility and choice based on each child's needs, and give families confidence in receiving quality services.

Ontario is committed to providing supports for the whole family. Through the Ontario Autism Program and programs such as those provided by South Asian Autism Awareness Centre, the province is helping parents and caregivers develop the skills they need to support their child or youth with Autism Spectrum Disorder to help them thrive and reach their full potential.

Quick Facts

  • Ontario is investing $530,000 over two years in programs aimed at supporting parents of children and youth with Autism Spectrum Disorder provided by the South Asian Autism Awareness Centre.
  • The South Asian Autism Awareness Centre is a Toronto-based charity that supports culturally and linguistically diverse families impacted by Autism Spectrum Disorder.
  • Ontario is making an unprecedented investment to create new services and supports across Ontario for children and youth with Autism Spectrum Disorder and their families. This includes the creation of the new Ontario Autism Program, which is providing an expanded and more individualized program of supports for children, youth and their families.
  • The role of parents and caregivers is essential to helping children and youth with Autism Spectrum Disorder apply the skills they learn in their daily lives. Through the Ontario Autism Program, parents will be supported to acquire the skills they need to support their child or youth’s development.

Additional Resources

Quotes

Michael Coteau

“I applaud the South Asian Autism Awareness Centre’s grassroots efforts to support parents as they navigate and cope with their Autism Spectrum Disorder diagnosis and its ensuing effects. Parents and caregivers have a tremendous role to play in helping their child or youth with Autism Spectrum Disorder, and, as a parent myself, I know how vital community services can be. Thank you to the South Asian Autism Awareness Centre for your hard work, and I look forward to continuing to hear your success stories.”

Michael Coteau

Minister of Children and Youth Services

“The South Asian Autism Awareness Centre has been working with families since our inception in 2008. Our experiences have shown us that in order to help individuals with developmental disabilities, you must help their parents and caregivers. Our services enable parents and caregivers to be connected, empowered, and well-informed in their journey to provide support for their loved ones. We thank the Ministry of Children and Youth Services for recognizing the importance of parent support programs and how imperative it is alongside the new Ontario Autism Program.”

Geetha Moorthy

Executive Director, South Asian Autism Awareness Centre.

Media Contacts

Share

Tags

Health and Wellness Home and Community Children and Youth Parents