The Government of Ontario has announced changes to Ontario’s Autism Program. Under the government’s proposed reforms, families may receive a Childhood Budget until their child turns 18. 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. For example, a child entering the program at age two would be eligible to receive up to $140,000, while a child entering the program at age seven would receive up to $55,000.
Families will be able to choose to purchase the eligible services including behavioural services, from providers of their choice on a fee-for-service basis
Additional changes include:
- 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; and
Autism Ontario will be offering support to families to help them understand their options and to assist them in finding service providers through workshops, training sessions and one-on-one support.
- To be eligible for the Ontario Autism Program, a child must have a diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder from a qualified professional. Families are eligible to apply for program funding for children and youth up to age 18.
- Today, there are over 2,400 families waiting for a diagnostic assessment, and more than 23,000 families waiting for behavioural services through the Ontario Autism Program with demand continuing to grow.
- Evidence shows that children who receive behavioural intervention therapies between two and five years of age have the best long-term outcomes.
For more information, contact Autism Service Ontario Toll-Free Number at 1-888-284-8340