Next Steps Being Implemented for the Ontario Autism Program

Published on February 04, 2021

We are moving forward with the implementation of the new needs-based Ontario Autism Program by launching core clinical services.

Starting in March 2021, 600 children registered in the Ontario Autism Program (OAP) will be invited to participate.

The Child and Parent Resource Institute will oversee the launch, which will see families receive funding to purchase core clinical services.

We are also supporting families throughout the transition. Families will benefit from:

  • Renewal of interim funding: Eligible families who received a childhood budget or interim one-time funding will be offered additional payments of either $5,000 or $20,000, based on their child’s age, to purchase eligible services and supports they feel are most appropriate for their child.
  • Urgent response services: Initiating a community-based proposal process for publicly-funded organizations in the sector to deliver urgent response services. These services will respond to a specific, identified need to prevent further escalation or risk of harm to people or property.
  • A $3.8 million additional investment in diagnostic hubs to improve families’ access to an assessment for their child by reducing waitlists and wait times for those registered in the OAP.
  • Increased oversight of clinicians providing Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA) therapy in Ontario. The government has now confirmed providers will be regulated as a new profession under the College of Psychologists of Ontario.

Feedback from families will help the province evaluate and refine the process as we continue moving towards full implementation of the program.

While the government moves ahead with implementing the redesigned Ontario Autism Program, we recognize COVID-19 continues to create challenges and uncertainty for many families.

We are determined to get this right, and we will ensure that children and youth on the autism spectrum continue to receive support while implementation of the new program is underway.

That’s why families will be offered an extension of funding to purchase the services they feel are most appropriate for their children.

The result of our work will be an autism program that will see more children receiving support than ever before in Ontario.

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