Financial Support & Community Programs

This video will help parents and caregivers learn about community supports and services.  Topics will include funding options, parent resources, respite and recreation ideas. 

Tips and Information

Section 1: Funding 

  • Special Services at Home (SSAH): Helps families who are caring for a child with a developmental and/or physical disability. 
  • Assistance for Children with Severe Disabilities (ACSD): Helps families to cover the cost of extraordinary expenses that are related to a child with a disability. 
  • Registered Disability Savings Plan (RDSP): Helps parents and others save for the long term financial security of a person who has a disability and enhances the financial security of people living with disabilities. 
  • Jennifer Ashleigh Children’s Charity (JACC): A charitable organization that assists children and youth who have a severe illness or a permanent disability, are 18 years of age or under, and are permanent residents of Ontario. 
  • Ontario Autism Program (OAP): For children and youth who have been diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) by a qualified professional. 
  • Incontinence Supplies Grant Program: An annual grant provided to families to help cover some of the costs for diapers and certain supplies for incontinence care (catheters, drainage bags).  
  • Access 2 Care Program: For people of all ages and types of permanent disabilities who require the assistance of a support person to participate in entertainment, cultural and recreational venues across Canada. 
  • Disability Travel Card Program: For people of all ages and types of permanent disabilities who require the assistance of a support person when travelling with VIA Rail Canada, Greyhound Canada and Coach Canada. 
  • TTC Support Person Card: Allows a support person to travel on the TTC for free with a person with a disability.

Section 2: Parent Resources 

  • Parent Outreach Program (P.O.P): Provides in-home support for parents of children with developmental delays aged 2.5 to 21 years of age. 
  • Extend-A-Family: Works in the community to support individuals who have developmental disabilities. 
  • EarlyON Child and Family Centres: Offers free programs to family and caregivers and their children from birth to six years of age. 
  • Toronto Public Health – Healthy Babies, Healthy Children: a free home-visiting service for families in the prenatal period or with children (0-3). 
  • Toronto Public Health – Nobody’s Perfect: A free parenting program for families with children aged 0-5 years. 
  • Childcare: Provides opportunities for your child to learn how to behave around and socialize with other children 
  • City of Toronto Childcare Subsidy: Helps families with the cost of licensed childcare. 
  • TTC Wheel-Trans: A service to assist those with a disability if they are unable to use conventional TTC for all or part of their trip. 

Section 3: Respite 

  • A service that connects families to respite programs, the CHAP Program and Ministry funding (Special Services at Home (SSAH) and Assistance for Children with Severe Disabilities (ACSD). 
  • CHAP (Community Helpers for Active Participation): Connects families to Independent Respite Providers using a database of screened, experienced providers to provide 1:1 support. 
  • Family Directed Respite (FDR): Funding for families looking for respite/camp options that are currently not accessing other government funded respite options. 
  • Relax Recharge Review: designed by Tourism Toronto to give the parents of children and adults with special needs a break in the Toronto region. 
  • Community Living Toronto Respite Program: offers respite programs. 
  • Toronto Parks, Forestry & Recreation: The City of Toronto offers a variety of recreational programs and camps in community centres across the city. 
  • Toronto Parks, Forestry & Recreation – Adapted and Inclusive Services: offered for individuals with disabilities who want to participate in recreation activities with others who have similar abilities and needs. 
  • Toronto Parks, Forestry & Recreation – Welcome Policy: provides a fee subsidy to help individuals and families with low income who live in Toronto access city-operated recreation programs. 
  • Camps: provides opportunities for your child to learn new skills. 
  • Autism Ontario Reimbursement Fund: available to Ontario families of children or youth with ASD who retain the services of a one-to-one support worker to attend a March break camp and/or community summer camp.

By 2 months

Has your baby had their hearing screened? YES NO

By 6 months

Does the child?

Startle in response to loud noises? YES NO
Turn to where a sound is coming from? YES NO
Make different cries for different needs (hungry, tired)? YES NO
Watch your face as you talk? YES NO
Smile/laugh in response to your smiles and laughs? YES NO
Imitate coughs or other sounds such as ah, eh, buh YES NO

By 9 months

Does the child?

Respond to their name? YES NO
Respond to the telephone ringing or a knock at the door? YES NO
Understand being told no? YES NO
Get what they want through using gestures (reaching to be picked up)? YES NO
Play social games with you (Peek-a-Boo)? YES NO
Enjoy being around people? YES NO
Babble and repeat sounds such as babababa or duhduhduh? YES NO

By 12 months

Does the child?

Follow simple one-step directions (sit down)? YES NO
Look across the room to a toy when adult points at it? YES NO
Consistently use three to five words? YES NO
Use gestures to communicate (waves hi/bye, shakes head for no)? YES NO
Get your attention using sounds, gestures and pointing while looking at your eyes? YES NO
Bring you toys to show you? YES NO
Perform for social attention and praise? YES NO
Combine lots of sounds together as though talking (abada baduh abee)? YES NO
Show an interest in simple picture books? YES NO

By 18 months

Does the child?

Understand the meaning of in and out, off and on? YES NO
Point to more than 2 body parts when asked? YES NO
Use at least 20 words consistently? YES NO
Respond with words or gestures to simple questions (Where's teddy? What's that?)? YES NO
Demonstrate some pretend play with toys (gives teddy bear a drink, pretends a bowl is a hat)? YES NO
Make at least four different consonant sounds (p ,b, m, n, d, g, w, h)? YES NO
Enjoy being read to and sharing simple books with you? YES NO
Point to pictures using one finger? YES NO

By 2 years

Does the child?

Follow two-step directions (Go find your teddy bear and show it to Grandma.)? YES NO
Use 100 to 150 words? YES NO
Use at least two pronouns (you, me, mine)? YES NO
Consistently combine two to four words in short phrases (Daddy hat. Truck go down.)? YES NO
Enjoy being around other children? YES NO
Begin to offer toys to other children and imitate other children's actions and words? YES NO
Use words that are understood by others 50 to 60 per cent of the time? YES NO
Form words or sounds easily and without effort? YES NO
Hold books the right way up and turn the pages? YES NO
Read to stuffed animals or toys? YES NO
Scribble with crayons? YES NO

By 30 months

Does the child?

Understand the concepts of size (big/little) and quantity (a little/a lot, more)? YES NO
Use some adult grammar (two cookies, bird flying, I jumped)? YES NO
Use over 350 words? YES NO
Use action words such as run, spill, fall? YES NO
Participate in some turn-taking activities with peers, using both words and toys? YES NO
Demonstrate concern when another child is hurt or sad? YES NO
Combine several actions in play (puts blocks in the train and drives the train, drops the blocks off.)? YES NO
Put sounds at the beginning of most words? YES NO
Use words with two or more syllables or beats (ba-na-na, com-pu-ter, a-pple)? YES NO
Recognize familiar logos and signs involving print (Stop sign)? YES NO
Remember and understand familiar stories? YES NO

By 3 years

Does the child?

Understand who, what, where and why questions? YES NO
Create long sentences using five to eight words? YES NO
Talk about past events (trip to grandparents house, day at child care)? YES NO
Tell simple stories? YES NO
Show affection for favourite playmates? YES NO
Engage in multi-step pretend play (pretending to cook a meal, repair a car)? YES NO
Talk in a way that most people outside of the family understand what she/he is saying most of the time? YES NO
Have an understanding of the function of print (menus, lists, signs)? YES NO
Show interest in, and awareness of, rhyming words? YES NO
Read to stuffed animals or toys? YES NO
Scribble with crayons? YES NO

By 4 years

Does the child?

Follow directions involving three or more steps (First get some paper, then draw a picture and give it to Mommy)? YES NO
Use adult type grammar? YES NO
Tell stories with a beginning, middle and end? YES NO
Talk to try and solve problems with adults and with other children? YES NO
Show increasingly complex imaginary play? YES NO
Talk in a way that is understood by strangers almost all the time? YES NO
Generate simple rhymes (cat-bat)? YES NO
Match some letters with their sounds (letter b says buh, letter t says tuh)? YES NO