Toronto, June 28, 2016 – Today the Minister of Children and Youth Services (MCYS), the Honourable Michael Coteau, announced a plan to help to support Ontario families of children and youth with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) transition to the new Ontario Autism Program.
Back in March 2016, Ontario announced it would invest $333 million over the next five years to launch the new Ontario Autism Program. The new program will provide all children, regardless of age, with more flexible services at a level of intensity that meets each child’s individual need.
The Ministry says its new plan would shorten the time to implement the Ontario Autism Program, now expected to begin to be introduced in June 2017. Other supports include increasing the number of spaces available in the current ABA program this year and doubling the maximum intensity available to increase the amount of service available for each child.
“Our priority is ensuring the children, youth and families that we serve continue to receive the services and support that they need,” said Steven Finlay, Chief Executive Officer Surrey Place Centre. “We are looking forward to continuing working with the Ontario government and will continue to support families any way that we can through this process.”
The plan to support families through this transition consists of five focus areas, including: accelerating the introduction of the Ontario Autism Program; providing service continuity for families whose children are transitioning off the IBI waitlist; improving access to earlier diagnosis; strengthening information, resources and supports for families; and enhancing supports in schools.
An advisory committee of parents, stakeholders, advocates, service providers and experts will begin meeting this summer to provide advice to the ministry on the design of the new program.
Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a lifelong, complex neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by persistent deficits in social communication and interaction and repetitive patterns of behaviour.
More detailed information about these changes can be found on the ministry’s website at Ontario.ca/autism.
Click here to read PDF version of this press release.
About Surrey Place Centre
Surrey Place Centre provides specialized clinical services that are responsive to individual need and which promote health and well-being. In addition to the direct service role, the Centre facilitates system-wide access to information and supports. As an organization we are committed to supporting the social inclusion of people with developmental disabilities, autism spectrum disorder, as well as young children challenged with visual impairments. For more information visit www.surreyplace.ca.