Changes to the Ontario Autism Program

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On Feb. 6th the provincial government announced significant changes to the Ontario Autism Program (OAP). Here’s the information we have so far.

On February 6, 2019, the provincial government announced significant changes to the Ontario Autism Program (OAP). These changes, as outlined on the Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services website, include:

  • The introduction of a Childhood Budget that covers the period of time until a child turns 18. The budgets can be used to help fund behavioural services such as assessments and consultations, family/caregiver capacity building and training, respite services, technology aids, and travel. The amount of the budget will depend on the length of time a child will be in the program, with supports targeted to lower and middle-income families.
  • Doubling funding to expand the province’s five diagnostic hubs so that families can receive a diagnosis sooner.
  • Introducing a provider list to help families find qualified clinical supervisors for behavioural services.
  • Establishing an independent agency to bring families into the program, help them manage their funding, and assist them in purchasing and accessing services.
  • Improving how services are delivered so families have confidence in providers and the service system.
As the Autism Spectrum Disorder Diagnostic Hub in Central Region covering Simcoe, York, Dufferin, Halton, Peel, Waterloo and Wellington, CTN is pleased to receive additional funding to continue partnering with ErinoakKids and KidsAbility to assess children sooner. CTN also provides OAP intake services for Simcoe and York and will continue to provide this service pending any further clarification and direction from the ministry.

We appreciate this announcement has a significant impact on many of the children, youth and families we are fortunate enough to work with. Changes to programs and services that are provincially funded can be difficult to navigate. While CTN is not a provider of behaviour-based intervention services in York and Simcoe, we do partner with organizations that provide this service: Kerry’s Place, Kinark Child and Family Services and Mackenzie Health's Centre for Behaviour Health Sciences.

We encourage clients and families to stay updated on what is happening with the OAP via the Ministry’s website and to speak with your service providers.

For information on community supports and services please connect with CTN via our ACCESS team at 1-866-377-0286. CTN and our staff remain committed to building brighter futures together.