On December 17, 2019, the Government of Ontario announced it is adopting the Ontario Autism Panel’s key recommendations for a needs-based autism program. The program will be rolled out in a phased-in approach, beginning in April 2020, followed by further phases throughout 2020-21.

According to the Ministry press release, “families will have access to the following service pathways in the new program:

  • Core services that include Applied Behaviour Analysis, speech language pathology, occupational therapy and mental health services;
  • Foundational family services for all families in the program, to build their capacity to support their child’s learning and development;
  • Early intervention and school readiness services to help young children access critical services when they will benefit most, and to prepare them to enter school;
  • Urgent and complex needs services to support children and youth who are in service, or are waiting for service, and have significant and immediate needs.”

An implementation working group will provide the government with input on key elements, such as service caps and transition of children into service.

All families on the waitlist who have not yet received a Childhood Budget will receive an invitation for interim one-time funding of either $5,000 or $20,000, depending on the age of their child, so they can begin purchasing services for their child.

More information may be found on the Government of Ontario’s Ontario Autism Program site.

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