The Province announced they will be adopting key recommendations from the Ontario Autism Panel for a better needs-based autism program.
“We heard loud and clear from the autism community that we needed to partner and redesign a program together – one that supports the needs of individual children and youth and puts them at the centre of care,” Todd Smith, Minister of Children, Community and Social Services, said in a news release from the Province.
“The changes we are making address the concerns we’ve heard from families, experts, and the autism advisory panel,” he continued.
Some of the services the new program will provide include applied behaviour analysis, speech-language pathology, occupational therapy, and mental health services.
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The program will also provide services to families in order to help them support children with autistic spectrum disorder (ASD) in school.
Additionally, the program will provide urgent and complex needs services to children and youth who are waiting for service and have significant and immediate needs.
Families who are on the wait-list for funding and 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.
However, while the Province has been celebrating this new program, many parents have been critical of it–particularly it’s delayed rollout plan.
The first phase of the program is scheduled to begin in April 2020, with additional phases starting throughout 2020 and 2021.
This means many families with kids with ASD could be waiting for nearly two years for services.
— Amy M Young (@amymyoung) December 17, 2019
We will not let @fordnation and friends mislead the public about the state of the Ontario Autism Program! Please shout far and wide, families and advocates. Speak with media. Tweet and tweet some more. The OAP is in shambles and @ToddSmithPC is directly responsible for it. https://t.co/1xvFcgGWuF
— Olivia (@LivGoesRogue) December 17, 2019