Child wraped in a Canada Flag
Overview

Autism-Related Funding Under 18 (By Province)

AIDE Canada
This page offers a comprehensive look at the autism-related funding, services and support provided by each provincial and territorial government in Canada.

Introduction:

Public debates about autism policy between parents, self-advocates, organizations and provincial policymakers have been fairly commonplace in Canada since the 1990s. Part of the reason for this is that each province and territory decides how to fund autism-related supports services, and approaches vary widely across the country. And, of course, provincial governments can change said approaches on a dime, often generating further conflict among those affected.

 

While a few court cases have been instrumental in establishing the landscape of autism policy in Canada, none have been more pivotal than the Auton case.

 

In 2002, parents of several children with autism brought legal action against the Government of British Columbia for failing to fund a type of early intervention therapy that was considered by many to be highly effective in improving a child’s future outcomes.

 

The parents argued that the government’s failure to pay the cost of this intervention, now known as Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA), was a violation of both the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and the Canada Health Act. The Auton case was successful in British Columbia’s highest court, the conflict peaked when it reached the Supreme Court of Canada a few years later.

 

The Supreme Court case attracted nineteen interveners – including ten provincial governments and eight autism and disability organizations – which highlights its broad importance to the autism policy landscape in the country.

 

The Supreme Court of Canada ended up dismissing the parents’ case.


They noted that the Canada Health Act only requires provinces and territories to provide “medically necessary” services to their residents. The Act’s definition of a “medically necessary service” is quite narrow, encompassing only physician and hospital services. The Supreme Court of Canada did not consider early intervention therapies to be “medically necessary”, and therefore, were not therapies which they could force the provinces and territories to offer.

 

The Supreme Court of Canada’s dismissal of the Auton case reaffirmed longstanding arrangements that leave specific health and social programs – like autism services – under provincial jurisdiction, meaning it is up to each provincial government to decide how they will provide these supports.

 

The broader implication of this, and one that still stands today, is that services and funding supports for those with Autism Spectrum Disorder continue to vary considerably across the country. Some provinces offer funding in a universal amount for all children with an autism diagnosis, whereas others provide supports and funding based on assessed need.

 

This page offers a comprehensive look at the autism-related funding, services and support provided by each provincial and territorial government in Canada.  

 

BRITISH COLUMBIA:

 

Once a child with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) has received a diagnosis, parents and caregivers begin to explore the treatment and support options for their child and their family. It can sometimes be challenging to understand the range of government-funded supports and services available to them and their loved ones. 

This page outlines funding and support services offered by the provincial government in British Columbia.

A brief history of autism funding in BC…

As recently as the early 2000s, children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) in British Columbia were receiving no direct funding from the provincial government for specialized treatment. This changed after the landmark 2002 Auton case.

As outlined above, in 2002, parents of several children with autism brought legal action against the provincial government for failing to fund Applied Behavioural Analysis (ABA) Therapy – a form of early intervention widely considered to be highly effective in improving a child’s future outcomes. These parents argued that the government’s failure to pay the cost of this intervention was a violation of their Charter rights.

To much surprise at the time, the Supreme Court of British Columbia ruled in favour of the families. British Columbia’s Autism Funding Program, to be run through the B.C. Ministry of Children and Family Development (MCFD), was then established.

Following the Auton decision, MCFD began providing direct funding up to $20,000 – an amount that’s since been raised – to parents of children under the age of six who had been diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder.

In 2003, following yet another court case, provincial funding for autism services was extended to children from their sixth birthday all the way through to their 19th. This extension created a second funding program, though also administered by the Ministry of Children and Family Development.

British Columbia’s autism support system has been designed to “put parents in the driver’s seat of their child’s intervention program” – providing significantly more flexibility and individual choice than in other Canadian provinces.

Have yet to receive a diagnosis:

Once referred by a family doctor or pediatrician, children are eligible to receive a free diagnostic assessment through the British Columbia Autism Assessment Network (BCAAN). You can find your local BCAAN Regional Office here.

Due to long wait times through BCAAN, many parents opt to receive assessment and diagnosis through private practice. Though typically faster, private diagnosis is an entirely out-of-pocket expense.

Autism Funding Program: Under Age 6

In B.C., parents and caregivers of a child under six years old who has been diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder are eligible to receive up to $22,000 per year, per child in support funding. However, these funds are not provided as blank cheques.

This $22,000 may only be spent on items considered by the Ministry of Children and Family Development to be ‘eligible expenses’.

Keep reading to find out what MCFD considers to be an “eligible expense.”

●     Eligible Expenses: Support Services or Therapy

Funding in the Under Age 6 Program is focused on intervention to improve a child’s functioning and future outcomes, as opposed to the maintenance of a child’s current state.

As such, in order to use government-provided autism funding to pay for specialized services, parents must select professional providers from the government-run Registry of Autism Service Providers (RASP). This requirement is intended to encourage parents to pursue early intervention therapies that have been scientifically proven to enhance optimal outcomes for children with ASD.

The RASP is a list of approved providers, broken down into four general categories: behaviour consultants, speech-language pathologists, occupational and physical therapists, and behaviour interventionists. The unique role played – and exact service provided – by each of these professionals will become clearer with time.

While not covered by some other provinces, Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA) and Intensive Behavioural Intervention (IBI) are both considered eligible expenses under B.C.’s Autism Funding Program: Ages 0-6.

Services such as childcare, respite, recreation lessons (e.g. swimming, karate), and routine medical services are examples of expenses that do not qualify for government funding.   

●     Eligible Expenses: Equipment, Training, Travel

Parents and caregivers can allocate up to 20% of their autism funding – in this case $4,400 – to assist with the cost of purchasing autism-related training, equipment or supplies, or travel related to a child’s skill development or therapy goals.

Autism Funding Program: Ages 6-18

From a child’s sixth birthday through to their 19th, they remain eligible for provincial funding, albeit significantly less than they received prior to age 6. The Ministry of Children and Family Development provides up to $6,000 per year, per child for this age cohort.

●     Eligible Expenses: Support Services or Therapy

Unlike the Under 6 Program, the Ages 6-18 Program has more flexibility regarding allowable expenses, as it is more focused on promoting a child’s communication, social-emotional, academic, and functional life skills development. Parents are not required to select service providers from the Registry of Autism Service Providers (RASP). 

With further flexibility, parents can spend the $6,000 sum on a broader range of supports, including life skills and social skills programs, dietary counselling from a registered dietician, family counselling, specialized camps designed for children with autism, etc.

While not covered by some other provinces, Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA) and Intensive Behavioural Intervention (IBI) are both considered eligible expenses under B.C.’s Autism Funding Program: Ages 6-18.

These funds are intended for use outside of a child’s school or educational program, as funding in this arena is the responsibility of the Ministry of Education and the school district or independent school. However, the $6,000 can be put toward out-of-school learning support (e.g. after-school tutoring, speech-language therapy, etc.).

●     Eligible Expenses: Equipment, Training, Travel

Parents and caregivers can allocate up to 20% of their autism funding – in this case $1,200 – to assist with the cost of purchasing autism-related training, equipment or supplies, or travel related to a child’s skill development or therapy goals.

Administration of Funds

The Ministry of Children and Family Development’s Autism Funding Team administers both funding programs, and parents can use the provincial government’s online portal (My Family Services) to check their funding balance, set-up service providers for payment, request equipment, get reimbursed and ask questions.

 

Other Government Contacts:

Autism Information Services British Columbia (AIS BC)

AIS BC is a provincial information centre for autism and related disorders. Our experienced staff provide information on best practice treatments, supports and training to families, service providers and community professionals across the province.

Our staff is available to assist you in English, Chinese, Punjabi and Tagalog. We also have access to interpreters to support you in over 50 languages.

AIS BC also manages the Registry of Autism Service Providers (RASP).

●     Toll Free: 1 844-878-4700

●      Email: AutismInformation@gov.bc.ca

●     Address: 3688 Cessna Drive, Richmond

 

Autism Funding Team

●     Toll Free: 1 877 777-3530

●     Email: MCF.AutismFundingUnit@gov.bc.ca

 

Other Resources:

●     A Parent’s Handbook: Your Guide to Autism Programs

●     After Your Child’s Diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder: A Quick Start Guide for Ages 0-5

●     After Your Child’s Diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder: A Quick Start Guide for Ages 6-12

●      After Your Child’s Diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder: A Quick Start Guide for Ages 13-18

 

ALBERTA:

 

Once a child with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) has received a diagnosis, parents and caregivers begin to explore the treatment and support options for their child and their family. It can sometimes be challenging to understand the range of government-funded supports and services available to them and their loved ones. 

This page outlines funding and support services offered by the provincial government in Alberta.

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In 2004, the province of Alberta passed the Family Support for Children with Disabilities (FSCD) Act. The FSCD Act is the first of its kind in Canada. This act funds a program called Family Support for Children with Disabilities (FSCD), which is run through the Ministry of Human Services.

Different than other Canadian provinces, the Alberta program – Family Support for Children with Disabilities – is not unique to Autism Spectrum Disorder, and instead provides funds for all children and youth under the age of 18 who have a developmental, physical, sensory, mental or neurological condition or impairment.

The Alberta Family Support for Children with Disabilities is a needs-based funding program, meaning that funding amounts and level of support is based on the unique needs of each family and child. There is no standard funding amount for a child, of any age, who has an autism diagnosis.

In order to qualify for the FSCD program, a child must have an official diagnosis from a health professional. Once deemed eligible for the program, a child and his/her family will be invited to meet with a FSCD worker to conduct a needs assessment. This conversation will cover, among other topics, a child’s specific needs, the impact the child’s autism has on his/her family, community programs or other supports available. Then, the FSCD worker will work with a child’s family to create what is called an Individualized Family Support Plan (IFSP).

The IFSP is written based on a shared understanding of a child’s family’s strengths, needs and priorities; the short and long-term goals for a child’s development and participation at home, school and in the community; and the strategies and supports available to meet these goals.

It’s during these processes that the FSCD worker – along with other professionals they bring in – will determine just how much support a child needs to receive from the provincial government, and in what form this will take.

The FSCD program has a component called Specialized Services, for which most children with autism are eligible. This provides a child with a team of specialized health professionals with whom they get to work directly. This team of experts may include any combination of:

●     a physical therapist

●     a speech-language pathologist

●     an occupational therapist

●     a psychologist

●     a behavioural specialist

●     an aide

Behavioural supports such as Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA) and Intensive Behavioural Intervention (IBI), which are not funded in all Canadian provinces, can be provided to children as part of the Specialized Services program. More information on the program can be found here and here.

Especially with autism, each individual case is different. The process that the Government of Alberta has in place for disability funding allows them to provide a unique, needs-based support plan that is tailor-made to each individual. This will mean more government funds for some children than others.

Other Government Contacts:  

Family Support for Children with Disabilities (FSCD)

●     Find your local office here: https://www.alberta.ca/fscd-office-locations.aspx

●     Online application for FSCD Support (including Specialized Services): myAlbertaSupports.ca

Other Government Resources:

Family Support for Children with Disabilities (FSCD)

●     FSCD Brochure

●     Welcome to the Family: an information guide for parents who have a child with a disability – guide

●     Transition Planning Brochure

●     FSCD specialized services: information for parents – fact sheet

●     FSCD specialized services: practices and approaches – fact sheet

●     FSCD specialized services: concerns resolution – fact sheet

●     FSCD specialized services and multi-year agreements – fact sheet

●     Children’s Mental Health Learning Series

●     Triple P – Positive Parenting Program

 

SASKATCHEWAN:

 

Once a child with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) has received a diagnosis, parents and caregivers begin to explore the treatment and support options for their child and their family. It can sometimes be challenging to understand the range of government-funded supports and services available to them and their loved ones. 

This page outlines funding and support services offered by the provincial government in Saskatchewan.

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The way that autism supports and services are funded in Saskatchewan changed dramatically in 2017, with the government deciding to move toward an autism-specific self-directed funding model, similar to the model seen in British Columbia.

Prior to this, funding was provided to children and youth with all disabilities through the Cognitive Disability Strategy. This funding was, as one would imagine, not autism-specific, and therefore lacked the variety that many parents seek when caring for their child with autism.

If you have yet to receive a diagnosis…

If a parent or caregiver suspects their child has ASD, they are encouraged to contact an ASD Consultant in their area.

This ASD Consultant will complete an initial screening to determine a child’s level of risk for an ASD diagnosis. From there, should the level of risk be high for ASD, the Consultant will make a referral for a medical assessment and begin developing an individual program plan for the child and their family.

Once a child receives an official diagnosis of ASD, they are eligible for the Government of Saskatchewan’s ASD Individualized Funding Program. 

ASD Individualized Funding

The ASD Individualized Funding Program is a joint Ministry of Health and Ministry of Social Services program, with the Ministry of Social Services being the administrator of funds.

Children under the age of six with an autism diagnosis are eligible for a set amount of government funds. Between 2017 and 2019, this amount was $4,000. However, in the 2019-20 Budget, this number was increased to $6,000 annually.

The $6,000 provided can be used to purchase services deemed to best suit a child’s individual needs. Parents are given flexibility and freedom to choose from a range of therapeutic interventions and supports that they feel will most benefit their child.

However, as is the case in some other provinces, this $6,000 can only be spent on service providers approved by the province’s Ministry of Health. Parents must pick providers from a list called the Registry of Autism Service Providers.

Individualized Funding, so long as it’s spent on providers listed on the RASP, can be used for a number of services. These include:

●     Autism Services Providers

○     Regulated rehabilitation professionals:

■     Occupational Therapists;

■     Physical Therapists; and,

■     Speech-Language Pathologists

○      Regulated counselling professionals (Social Workers, Psychologists); and

○     Behaviour Consultants 

●     Interventionists/aides to implement therapeutic programs

●     Respite services;

●     Therapeutic equipment, as recommended by professionals listed above;

●     Travel costs to access these services (e.g. funding for parents to travel in province to pay service providers, or to pay service providers to travel to the family); and,

●     Training/coaching for parents/caregivers

 

Examples of services that are not eligible for the Government of Saskatchewan’s Individualized Autism Funding sum are:

●     Home repairs, renovations, household items (including appliances);

●     Electronic equipment not recommended by a professional listed above (e.g. computer, iPad, etc.);

●     Basic needs (e.g. shelter, food, clothing);

●     Medical services and equipment (e.g. incontinence supplies, medication, supplements, vitamins, special diets, etc.);

●     Sports/recreational fees and activities (e.g. dance class, swimming pass; etc.) and sports/fitness equipment not recommended by a professional on the registry (e.g. treadmill, bike, etc.); and,

●     Vacations.

There has been significant controversy in the wake of the Government of Saskatchewan’s decision to roll out autism-specific funding for children under six years old, mainly because, as parents know, children do not suddenly stop requiring services on their 6th birthday.

While there are support services offered to school-aged children in the classroom, there remains significant pressure on families to pay, out-of-pocket, for additional therapy beyond what’s provided in school and what they received before age 6.

Members of the provincial Legislative Assembly have said that the ASD Individualized Funding amount – now set at $6,000 per child under 6, per year – will eventually increase, but it remains to be seen whether the age restrictions will remain in place with such a change.

 

MANITOBA

 

Once a child with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) has received a diagnosis, parents and caregivers begin to explore the treatment and support options for their child and their family. It can sometimes be challenging to understand the range of government-funded supports and services available to them and their loved ones

This chapter outlines funding and support services offered by the provincial government in Manitoba.

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Once a child in Manitoba receives an autism diagnosis (obtained from a Child Developmental Clinic, a physician, developmental pediatrician or clinical psychologist), their parents will receive a referral to Children’s disABILITY Services, a branch of Manitoba’s Department of Families.

Funds for autism supports in Manitoba are provided on an as-needed basis. The amount of supports and services a family receives depends on each child’s particular circumstances and needs. 

Children’s disABILITY Services (CDS), formerly known as Children’s Special Services, offers a variety of resources and supports to parents to assist them to care for their children at home in their own communities. 

CDS support is not only for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder, and also covers those with intellectual disabilities, developmental delays, and lifelong physical disabilities. CDS covers children under the age of 18 who live in Manitoba with their birth, adoptive, or extended families.

Once a child receives a diagnosis of ASD and a referral to Children’s disABILITY Services, they will be assigned a Family Service Worker (FSW).

This Family Service Worker works with families to develop a comprehensive Service Plan. Included in this Service Plan is, among other things, an indication of the level of government-funded support the child will be eligible for.

What is offered?

The Children’s disABILITY Services Program offers a long list of available services, and each child’s Service Plan will include a unique, tailor-made combination of the following services and supports, among others:

●     Respite

●     Supplies and equipment

●     Transportation to and from medical appointments

●     Therapy (occupational therapy, physio, speech-language pathology, and audiology)

●     Summer gap programming

●     After school care

●     Home/vehicle modifications

●     Applied behaviour analysis (ABA)

The level of service and support provided to each family will depend on their particular circumstances and child’s needs. If a family’s circumstances change, service may also change.

More information on the services provided by the CDS program can be found here, and further details on Therapy, Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA), the Preschool Early Learning Program, and Parent Support groups can be found below.

Therapy

Therapy services, such as audiology, occupational therapy, physiotherapy and speech-language pathology, are provided to eligible children through two different programs, depending on one’s age.

For children who have yet to enter kindergarten, they are provided through Provincial Outreach Therapy for Children (POTC). For school-aged children, they are provided through a program called the Children’s Therapy Initiative (CTI). CTI is a regionally-based program, meaning that each health region has its own contact information, all of which can be found here.

When a child’s doctor, Family Service Worker, or autism specialist makes a referral for any one of these therapy services, CTI will handle the billing and payment logistics. 

Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA)

Unlike some other Canadian provinces, Manitoba will fund Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA) for eligible children.

The province of Manitoba’s ABA programming is run through an organization called St. Amant. St. Amant is a not-for-profit organization that offers a wide range of programs and services to support individuals and their families. They offer a host of autism support programs, many of which – including the ABA Program – are funded by the Government of Manitoba.

Each child in St. Amant’s ABA program receives a prescribed number of hours of therapy per week, to be determined by an autism specialist and the child’s Family Service Worker, depending on the severity of their diagnosis.

Preschool Early Learning Program

Preschool children deemed eligible by Children’s disABILITY Services can access a program called the Early Learning Program which, like the ABA program, is run through St. Amant.

The Early Learning Program provides up to 20 hours a week of service in a St. Amant classroom or a childcare centre, from Monday to Friday, for eligible preschool children. Children can participate in the program until September of the year they turn six, or until they receive up to a maximum of two years of services, whichever comes first.

Parent Support

Another program offered by the Government of Manitoba through St. Amant is one called Parent Support.

The program offers up to one year of support for families who have a child recently diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). This program gives families consultation and education around one or two learning goals for their child. These programs are available in Winnipeg and rural Manitoba.

Other Resources

Children’s disABILITY Services

●     Winnipeg Service Location

●     Rural and Northern Service Location

St. Amant

●     Central Intake (Services) – 204-258-7041 / intake@stamant.ca

●     General Inquiries – 204-256-4301 / inquiries@stamant.ca

 

YUKON:

 

Once a child with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) has received a diagnosis, parents and caregivers begin to explore the treatment and support options for their child and their family. It can sometimes be challenging to understand the range of government-funded supports and services available to them and their loved ones. 

This page outlines funding and support services offered by the territorial government in the Yukon. It’s important to note that because of the Yukon’s size and location, there may not be the same variety of therapies that are available in other areas of the country with larger populations. 

0-5 Years Old

For a preschool-aged child with a diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), there are three main places that will offer support:

Child Development Centre (CDC)

The Child Development Centre is a non-profit organization that provides a variety of therapeutic services free of charge to children up to 5 years old.

Services provided by the CDC include speech-language therapy, occupational therapy, physiotherapy, play therapy, psychological services and assistance with behaviour and other developmental milestones.

While the organization is based in Whitehorse, it provides services across the territory. Trained professionals at the Child Development Centre will work with a family to set up a program that may include individual therapy, group opportunities, and a home component.

Disability Services

Disability Services, formerly known as Family Supports for Children with Disabilities, provides supports to children and adults with all disabilities – not just autism. This is a branch of the Government of Yukon’s Ministry of Health and Social Services.

While parents and individuals with ASD can access these services without a referral, an initial assessment will be required.

Disability Services provides funding as needed to families for respite, family counselling, sibling care and inclusion supports. Disability Services will also fund specialized interventions – including Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA) – for eligible children. 

Child Care Services

The Government of Yukon’s Supported Child Care Program provides additional needed support for children with special needs in childcare settings. This program can provide financial assistance for childcare to families who qualify, and can ensure that extra support is provided in childcare settings to help work towards meeting a particular child’s developmental goals. 

Children and Youth (5-19 Years Old, School-Aged)

As in most Canadian provinces, once a child in the Yukon reaches school age, the services available to them change.

Children at this age can still receive funding through Disability Services, and there are funding opportunities for after-school care through Child Care Services.

Disability Services

As mentioned previously, Disability Services is a branch of the Government of Yukon’s Ministry of Health and Social Services. Disability Services is the funding vehicle that provides money, as needed, for children and youth with autism. 

Through Disability Services, children may also receive funding for specialized interventions, including Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA), depending on their assessed need.

Other Government Contacts 

Disability Services

●     Website:  http://www.hss.gov.yk.ca/disabilities_children.php

●     Toll Free (Yukon, Nunavut and NWT); 1-800-661-0408 ext. 7464

●     Address: 49 Waterfront Place | Whitehorse, Yukon

Other Resources

Autism Yukon

●     Autism Yukon plays a large role in the autism community in Yukon with the overall mission to improve the quality of life of anyone affected by autism in Yukon.

●     Green Book by Autism Yukon – helpful for families and individuals who have recently received an autism diagnosis

LDAY Centre for Learning

●     The Learning Disability Association of Yukon (LDAY) is a non-profit organization that provides support to children, youth and adults who have learning difficulties or differences. No referral or diagnosis is needed to access programming.

Many Rivers

●     Many Rivers provides counselling services free of charge. Their counsellors are equipped to provide support for a wide range of mental health issues, which may be useful for individuals with ASD or their caregivers.

Partners for Children

●     Partners for Children aims to make learning and training opportunities for healthy early child development accessible to all Yukoners. They offer free public workshops in many areas of child development, parenting and child care

 

NORTHWEST TERRITORIES

 

Once a child with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) has received a diagnosis, parents and caregivers begin to explore the treatment and support options for their child and their family. It can sometimes be challenging to understand the range of government-funded supports and services available to them and their loved ones. 

This page outlines funding and support services offered by the provincial government in the Northwest Territories. It’s important to note that because of the Northwest Territories size and location, there may not be the same variety of therapies that are available in other areas of the country with larger populations.

If you have yet to receive a diagnosis…

In Yellowknife:

If you live in Yellowknife, families are directed to begin by meeting with a medical or allied health professional (can be an occupational therapist, audiologist, psychologist, doctor, or nurse) to receive a referral to the Stanton Child Development Team (CDT).

Once you have a referral to CDT the Coordinator will organize an appointment with a pediatrician. From there, the pediatrician will meet with you and the child and will give a referral to an appropriate medical professional for further developmental support and/or to a diagnostic specialist.

A referral for a diagnosis will most likely be to the Glenrose Autism Centre in Edmonton. Then, at the Glenrose Autism Centre or another centre, a specialist will facilitate an assessment of the child.

In Other Communities

In a community, you will need to start by meeting with a Nurse in Charge at your local health centre, from whom you will request a pediatrician referral. You will then meet with a pediatrician in a regional centre or in Yellowknife. From there, the process will be the same as that for a Yellowknife resident.

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Supports and services for individuals living with disabilities in the Northwest Territories are the responsibility of the Minister of Health and Social Services. An inventory of the Programs and Services for Persons with Disabilities can be found here, and those most relevant to autism are outlined below.

Northwest Territories Disabilities Council

The Northwest Territories Disabilities Council supports any person living with a disability in any community in the NWT. While they are a not-for-profit organization, not a branch of the territorial government, they are funded to carry out many provincial health-related initiatives.

Early Childhood Intervention Program

The Early Childhood Intervention Program is operated by the NWT Disabilities Council. Its purpose is to provide high quality early intervention programming for children at risk for developmental delays or with identified developmental delays.

Programming is aimed at preventing the onset or advancement of acquired delays, and improving the inclusion and transition of children with special needs into daycare, the community, and the public school system. Throughout ECIP, early interventionists work one-on-one with a child in order to focus on their specific strengths and challenges.

NWT Disabilities Council’s Early Childhood Intervention Workers (ECIW) usually assist the children in a preschool centre chosen by the parents/guardians; however in certain situation sessions may take place in an alternate location such as the child’s home, day home, etc.

Rehabilitation Services

The Government of the Northwest Territories funds rehabilitation services to help people with autism, among a number of other conditions. These services are funded when referred by a physician or allied health professional. They are available in NWT regional centres and through community outreach clinics.

Individuals and families are encouraged to contact their Community Health Centres for more information.

They can fund the following services:

●     Physiotherapy

●     Occupational therapy

●     Speech language pathology

●     Audiology

Respite

The Government of the Northwest Territories, in conjunction with the NWT Disabilities Council and the Yellowknife Association of Community Living, provides respite services to families supporting people with disabilities, including autism.

For more information about the respite services outlined below, offered both in and outside of Yellowknife, individuals are encouraged to contact their Regional Health and Social Service Authority Home Care Program or Community Health Centre for more information.

In Yellowknife:

The Yellowknife Association of Community Living provides community-based respite services for people living with disabilities in Yellowknife, Dettah and N’dilo.

Outside of Yellowknife:

This program is delivered in community by the NWT Disabilities Council to families outside of Yellowknife (Aklavik, Deline, Fort Smith & Paulatuk) who have children with special needs. 

 

NUNAVUT

 

Once a child with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) has received a diagnosis, parents and caregivers begin to explore the treatment and support options for their child and their family. It can sometimes be challenging to understand the range of government-funded supports and services available to them and their loved ones. 

This page outlines funding and support services offered by the provincial government in Nunavut. It’s important to note that because of the Nunavut’s size and remote location, there may not be the same variety of therapies that are available in other areas of the country with larger populations. 

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Nunavut is the only jurisdiction in Canada that does not have specific programs or services to help individuals, of any age, with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). However, there are two programs for which all Nunavut residents are eligible that apply to those living with autism: the Home and Community Care Program, and the Rehabilitation Services Program.

There is also historical precedent of children receiving additional government funds in order to offset those costs not covered by the two programs mentioned above. These funds were obtained through the Healthy Children Initiative.

Home and Community Care Program

The Home and Community Care (HCC) program supports Nunavut residents who are in poor health, or who have an illness or disease.

The Home and Community Care program provides health care and support services, based on an assessment, in the comfort of an individual’s home. They provide a variety of services, including:

●     Homemaking - house cleaning and assisting with meals and/or groceries

●     Personal care - bathing and dressing

●     Nursing care - injections and bandage changing

●     Respite care - relief for family members

●     Rehabilitation - recovery exercises

All Nunavut residents enrolled in the Nunavut Health Care Plan are eligible for referral to the Home and Community Care Program. Interested individuals can apply for home care services through their community health centre or their local home care office – both of which can be done without a healthcare professional.

Once a request is received for home care services, an assessment will be done by a health professional to figure out what level of support is needed and what home care services are most appropriate for that person and his or her family.

Rehabilitation Services

Rehabilitation Services are offered free of charge to all Nunavut residents with a valid Nunavut Health Care Card. These services are based out of Iqaluit and Rankin Inlet, and the Kitikmeot region receives visits from a rehabilitation team from Yellowknife. Community Therapy Assistants offer specific rehabilitation services to Nunavummiut in Cape Dorset, Igloolik, Pangnirtung and Rankin Inlet.

The Department of Health provides the following rehabilitation services free of charge to all Nunavut residents:

●     Physiotherapy

●     Occupational Therapy

●     Speech-Language Pathology

●     Audiology

●     Community Therapy Assistants

You do not need a referral from a doctor or nurse to get rehabilitation services. You can call the rehabilitation office to set up an appointment.

If you live in the Baffin Region, call Timimut Ikajuqsivik at (867) 975-5970.

If you live in the Kivalliq Region, call the Wellness Centre at (867) 645-8077.

If you live in the Kitikmeot Region, call the Kitikmeot Health Centre at (867) 983-4500.

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As neither of these programs would cover early intervention services – which are widely accepted to be the most effective means of improving an autistic child’s future outcomes – there is potential for families to receive additional funds from the Government of Nunavut through other avenues. 

Healthy Children Initiative

The Healthy Children Initiative is government funding for licensed childcare facilities or other eligible organizations that support children’s healthy development, especially in the case of those with special needs. One of the sources of money in the Healthy Children Initiative is called Supportive Child Services, and these are grant funds offered to children aged 0-6 on an individual basis.

There is historical precedent of families Healthy Children Initiative funding to pay for early intervention therapy, given that this is not a service covered under Nunavut’s Rehabilitation Services Program.

 

ONTARIO:

 

Once a child with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) has received a diagnosis, parents and caregivers begin to explore the treatment and support options for their child and their family. It can sometimes be challenging to understand the range of government-funded supports and services available to them and their loved ones. 

This page outlines funding and support services offered by the provincial government in Ontario.

Brief Funding History

In February 2019, the Ontario Government announced changes to the Ontario Autism Program to offer what it described as more immediate assistance to all families. However, under the proposed program, which was to come into effect on April 1, 2019, a family could only receive a maximum of $140,000 in total funding until the age of 18 — depending on age and household income. Families will receive up to $20,000 a year until their child turns six and that drops to $5,000 a year until they turn 18.

The announcement was met with significant opposition, and about a month later, the government backed away from some of its changes, pledging to explore how the program could provide additional support for families based on their needs. In July 2019, the Ontario Autism Program budget was increased from approximately $300 million to $600 million annually to help ensure it is both needs-based and sustainable moving forward.

Following the funding increase, in Spring 2019, the Ontario government engaged in a province-wide public consultation process and appointed a new 20-member Ontario Autism Program Advisory Panel. The panel was tasked with providing recommendations to the government on the design of their needs-based, sustainable Ontario Autism Program that serves as many children as possible.

In October 2019, the panel published its report: Recommendations for a New Needs-Based Ontario Autism Program: The Ontario Autism Program Advisory Panel Report. The report calls on the government to reverse its widely criticized approach to funding autism therapy for children.

On December 17, 2019, the Government of Ontario announced it will be adopting the Ontario Autism Panel’s key recommendations for a needs-based autism program. Further, an Implementation Working Group was announced and will provide the government with input on a number of key design elements.

The first phase of implementation will begin in April 2020, to be followed by additional phases throughout 2020 and 2021, before reaching final implementation in April 2021. This is a significant delay to the government’s original deadline for a new autism program, which promised full implementation by April 2020.

To address the delay, the Government announced that all families on the waitlist who have not yet received a Childhood Budget will receive an invitation for interim one-time funding of either $5,000 or $20,000, depending on the age of their child, so they can begin purchasing services for their child.

Beginning in early 2020, the ministry will begin offering 15 in-person training sessions organized by Child and Parent Resource Institute (CPRI) to community-based physicians and medical practitioners, community agencies, educators and caregivers to increase understanding of children on the autism spectrum disorder and co-occurring mental health challenges.

ONTARIO AUTISM PROGRAM (OAP)

Eligibility Requirements

Children and youth who reside in Ontario and have been diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) by a qualified professional and reside in the province are eligible for the Ontario Autism Program (OAP). Children receive services and supports until the age of 18.

Diagnosis

If you have concerns about your child’s development, it is best to make an appointment with your child’s doctor as soon as possible. You can get a diagnosis of autism for your child or youth from qualified professionals who have undergone specific training.

You can also receive a diagnosis of autism from one of Ontario’s five diagnostic hubs funded by the ministry. However, you are not required to get a diagnosis from one of the hubs to apply to register for the Ontario Autism Program.

If you receive a private diagnostic assessment, your child’s written diagnosis must include the following information:

●     your child’s full name and date of birth

●     the date of your child’s assessment

●     a statement indicating that the child meets the diagnostic criteria for Autism Spectrum Disorder

●     the qualified professional’s name and credentials

If you receive a diagnostic assessment from a diagnostic hub, you will receive a report that summarizes your child’s results and includes a diagnosis.

In either case, once your child or youth has a written diagnosis from a qualified professional, you can apply to register for the Ontario Autism Program.

For further information to help support your child and family after an autism diagnosis, read Autism Speaks Canada’s 100 Day Kit for Young Children.

Registering for the Ontario Autism Program

Once you have determined that your child is eligible for the Ontario Autism Program, it is time to register.

Your first step will be to contact the OAP’s central intake and registration team:

●     Address: Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services, P.O. Box 193, Toronto, Ontario M7A 1N3

●     Phone: 1-888-444-4530

●     Email: oap@ontario.ca

Once your registration is submitted, your child will be added to the waitlist. You will then receive a letter from the ministry to apply for a childhood budget.

CHILDHOOD BUDGETS

Childhood budgets provide money directly to you to purchase the services and supports that are most important to you and your child.

Families with children under age six are eligible to receive $20,000 annually per child, while families with children aged six and older are eligible to receive $5,000 annually per child.

The Government of Ontario assures families who accept a childhood budget that their child’s position on the Ontario Autism Program’s waitlist will be maintained.

Eligible services for childhood budgets include:

●     behavioural services such as assessments and consultations

●     speech language pathology

●     occupational therapy and physiotherapy

●     family and caregiver training

●     respite services

●     travel

●     technology aids

Applying for Childhood Budget

After you register for the Ontario Autism Program, you will receive a letter to apply for a childhood budget.

The letter will include your child’s unique reference number and instructions on how to complete and submit your application for a childhood budget. Keep this letter so you can easily access your reference number.

If your family has two or more children with autism, you should apply to receive a childhood budget for each child.

When you submit your childhood budget application, you can choose between two different funding options to get your childhood budget. You can:

●     get the full amount sent directly to you

●     have the ministry send some, or all, of your funding directly to up to three service providers of your choice

If you want the ministry to pay your service providers directly, you must specify in your application which providers you choose and the amount of money to pay them.

You must submit your application and documentation online or by mail. You will also need to complete the funding agreement included in your letter as part of your application.

Timeline

You have 90 days from the date shown at the top of your childhood budget letter to complete the application and submit all documentation. If you need further information or help to complete your application or require a paper form, you can email oap@ontario.ca or call 1-888-444-4530.

Once the province reviews your application, which they say occurs as soon as it is received, you will receive funding within four weeks.

INFORMATION FOR FAMILIES RECEIVING SERVICES BEFORE APRIL 2019

If your child is currently registered for the program you do not have to register again.

Extensions for existing behaviour plans

You will continue to receive services outlined in your child’s existing behaviour plan until its end date. You can renew your plan for a second extension of up to six months at its current level of intensity, or less where clinically appropriate. You can read more about the steps and key elements in the behaviour plan instructions guidelines.

As you get close to the end of your child’s extended behaviour plan, you will receive information about the next steps for your child’s transition into the new Ontario Autism Program.

If you have any questions about the details of your child’s behaviour plan, please speak to your clinical supervisor first. If you are dissatisfied with the outcome you can request an independent clinical review.

Find behavioural services in your area

Autism Ontario has a list of clinical supervisors who oversee the delivery of behavioural services. This list can help you search for, select and confirm the qualifications of clinical supervisors.

As experts in assessment and behavioural interventions, clinical supervisors assess, develop and recommend evidence-based behavioural services that are consistent with the Ontario Autism Program clinical framework. Clinical supervisors oversee all aspects of your child’s behaviour plan in collaboration with you and other therapists. Learn more about the role of clinical supervisors.

To join the list, clinical supervisors must demonstrate they meet all the program’s qualification requirements. However, you may hire a clinical supervisor who is not on the list if they are working towards the qualification requirements and complete the clinical supervisor attestation form.

After April 1, 2021, clinical supervisors who wish to provide behavioural services funded through the Ontario Autism Program must meet all qualification requirements.

Family service plan

Families can choose to have a family service plan. The behaviour plan is a key component of the OAP family service plan and is developed by the OAP family support worker in collaboration with the family and other professionals as necessary.

The OAP family service plan captures the broader range of services and supports, activities, interests and goals of each child or youth and their family. It is a document that changes over time to reflect the changing priorities of the family, the child’s or youth’s developmental stage, and progress toward specific goals and transition plans.

MORE INFORMATION ON OAP

Autism Ontario offers information sessions about the Ontario Autism Program in locations across Ontario.

Orientation to the Ontario Autism Program

At this workshop, you can:

●     learn about changes to the Ontario Autism Program, including what they are and how they may affect you and your family

●     get information about Autism Ontario’s service navigation program, which can help you navigate the Ontario Autism Program

●     connect with other families with similar experiences to share information and feel supported.

Childhood budget workshop

This workshop provides a step-by-step guide to help you understand and fill out your childhood budget form and learn about what a childhood budget means for your family. This workshop is available to all parents and caregivers, whether your child is registered for the Ontario Autism Program or not.

AUTISM ONTARIO’S OAP Service Navigation Program

You can also register to access the OAP Service Navigation Program, facilitated by Ontario Autism, which is designed to:

  • ·       Help families understand the new Ontario Autism Program and the services available to purchase with their Childhood Budgets;
  • ·       Find qualified providers;
  • ·       Support families in navigating their local autism services to access meaningful and effective supports;
  • ·       Provide access to parent resources and webinars; and
  • ·       Provide opportunities for families to connect with each other at events.

    Register for the OAP Service Navigation Program through Autism Ontario here.

    Note: Autism Ontario clearly states it will not be involved in registration, intake, waitlist management, determining eligibility for OAP Childhood Budgets, funding distribution or reconciliation for the Ontario Autism Program.

    About Autism Ontario

    Autism Ontario (formerly Autism Society Ontario) is the province’s leading source of information and referral on autism and one of the largest collective voices representing the autism community. Autism Ontario consists of knowledgeable parents, professionals, and autistic self-advocates who can speak to the key issues that impact Ontario individuals with autism and their families and loved ones. Members are connected through a volunteer network of 25 Chapters throughout the Province of Ontario.

Autism Ontario is dedicated to increasing public awareness about autism and the day-to-day challenges faced by individuals with autism, their families, and the professionals with whom they interact.

 

 

QUEBEC:

 

Once a child with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) has received a diagnosis, parents and caregivers begin to explore the treatment and support options for their child and their family. It can sometimes be challenging to understand the range of government-funded supports and services available to them and their loved ones. 

This page outlines funding and support services offered by the provincial government in Quebec.

HISTORY/OVERVIEW

There is a significant lack of funding in Quebec for autism programs and resources. As a result, the wait lists remain long and provincial services are fragmented. In 2003, the Government of Quebec set aside $18 million in its budget for autism and Persons with Developmental Disabilities (PDDs), which was a marked development and recognition of autism as a legitimate public concern. 

However, unlike Ontario, there is not an Autism-specific program in Quebec. Instead, autism services are lumped together with physical and intellectual disability programs and services.

PROGRAM ELIGIBILITY

Physical disability programs and services as well as intellectual disability and autism spectrum disorder (ASD) programs and services are for people of all ages (children, adults and seniors) as well as their families and loved ones. All services are provided by The Ministère de la Santé et des Services sociaux. 

To learn about services provided in your region, contact your integrated health and social services centre (CISSS) or your integrated university health and social services centre (CIUSSS). To find their contact information, go to Finding Your CISSS or Your CIUSSS page.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

●     Services for Persons with a Physical or Intellectual Disability or an Autism Spectrum Disorder

●     Assistive Devices Programs for Persons with a Physical or Intellectual Disability or an Autism Spectrum Disorder

●     Finding Your CISSS or Your CIUSSS (financial support options)

Autisme Montréal: Autisme Montréal is a non-profit organisation that strives to improve the lives of individuals with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) as well as those of their family members

 

NEW BRUNSWICK

 

Once a child receives a diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), there begins a long, convoluted road to understanding the supports and funding available to them and their loved ones.

This page outlines funding and support services offered by the provincial government in New Brunswick.

SERVICES FOR PRESCHOOL CHILDREN WITH AUTISM SPECTRUM DISORDERS

The New Brunswick Preschool Autism Program allows preschool children diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) to access an intensive, evidence-based intervention. This intervention, called Early Intensive Behavioural Intervention (EIBI), is based on the principles of the science of applied behavioural analysis.

The Department of Education and Early Childhood Development provides financial assistance for every preschool child with ASD to access up to 20 hours of EIBI per week through an approved autism agency.

Children may receive services from the Preschool Autism Program until they begin school. Autism agencies and schools have access to common training and tools and will work together to make the transition to school smooth and effective.

Eligibility

To receive services, your child must be:

●     a resident of New Brunswick (including Indigenous communities);

●     diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder by a physician or psychologist;

●     between the ages of 0 and 5 when diagnosed, and not yet entered school.

Enrollment Process

In order to enroll in the Preschool Autism Program, the physician or psychologist who diagnosed your child with ASD will need to send a confirmation of the diagnosis to the Department using the province’s Confirmation of Diagnosis Form. The Department will then contact your family to explain the services and, with parental consent, initiate the program enrollment process.

About EIBI

The province’s EIBI intervention programs are personalized to meet the unique needs of the child and their families, and can take place in one of three locations: at home, in an educational childcare setting, or in limited circumstances, in an autism agency. Each school district in New Brunswick has an approved autism intervention agency. The families receive services in their language of choice.

The primary goal of intervention is to identify and reduce a child’s most significant barrier to learning in their natural environment.

At the beginning of the intervention, assessments are completed by the agency in order to develop a personalized learning plan. The plan will include a summary of the goals and objectives that will guide the intervention. Plans are revised and updated on an ongoing basis as the child progresses and acquires new skills.

Services provided by the Preschool Autism Program meet provincial standards with respect to the ratio of supervision, the assessment and follow-up tools, the child’s intervention plan, and mandatory employee training.

Additional Information

A parent handbook is given to families upon enrollment to explain services and help families achieve best outcomes. Parental engagement is encouraged as it often increases the benefit of the child’s enrollment in the program.

If you have questions or comments, please contact: 1-844-377-3819 or by email at Autism.Autisme@gnb.ca

 

NOVA SCOTIA

 

Once a child with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) has received a diagnosis, parents and caregivers begin to explore the treatment and support options for their child and their family. It can sometimes be challenging to understand the range of government-funded supports and services available to them and their loved ones. 

This page outlines funding and support services offered by the provincial government in Nova Scotia.

DIAGNOSIS

Symptoms of ASD generally appear before the age of 3. If you have concerns, ask your provincial care provider to screen for signs of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) at your 18-month, two-year well-baby visits, or at any time.

Nova Scotia Health Authority's community child and adolescent clinics offer diagnostic assessment and treatment for children with ASD and concurrent mental health disorders, including significant behavioural disorders. These multidisciplinary teams work to meet the functional and mental health needs of children and adolescents and their families.

PROGRAMS/SERVICES

IWK Autism Team

To provide assistance throughout your child’s journey with ASD, the IWK Autism Team provides diagnostic, consultation and intervention services for children and adolescents and their families within Nova Scotia’s Capital District Health Authority. The IWK Autism Team is part of the IWK Health Centre, which provides quality care to women, children, youth and families in the Maritime provinces and beyond.

Early Intensive Behavioural Intervention (EIBI)

If your child is pre-school age and has received a diagnosis of ASD from a qualified professional, they are eligible for Early Intensive Behavioural Intervention (EIBI), which is a specialized treatment to develop functional social-communication skills in preschool children. The earlier a child begins EIBI, the better the outcomes.

For more information:

●     If you are in Halifax, contact the IWK Health Centre.

●     If you are outside of Halifax, contact the Nova Scotia Health Authority.

QuickStart Nova Scotia

QuickStart Nova Scotia is a program delivered by Autism Nova Scotia, in partnership with IWK Health Centre, Nova Scotia Hearing and Speech Centres, Nova Scotia Early Childhood Development Intervention Services, and Nova Scotia Health Authority.

It is a one-on-one 19-week parent-coaching program delivered at no cost to families of toddlers with a suspected, provisional, or confirmed diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder.

The program involves parents meeting weekly with a member of our interdisciplinary team, which is comprised of an Occupational Therapist, a Speech Language Pathologist, and four Parent Coaches.

The QuickStart Nova Scotia program team is actively looking for participants for its pilot phase. During this phase, the program is offered in the Halifax Regional Municipality and delivered in English only.

Eligibility for the pilot program:

  1. Child must have a suspected, provisional, or confirmed diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder;
  2. Child must be between the ages of 12 and 31 months at the start of the program;
  3. Participants must make a minimum commitment of one immediate caregiver to be in attendance for the course of the program;
  4. Participants must reside in the Halifax Regional Municipality; and
  5. Participants cannot be enrolled in more than 10 hours of services elsewhere.

For more information about QuickStart, please contact:

●     Samantha Herberman, QuickStart Supervisor

●     sherberman@autismns.ca

●     902-593-1015 ext. 306

Community Child and Adolescent Clinics

Nova Scotia Health Authority's community child and adolescent clinics offer diagnostic assessment and treatment for children with ASD and concurrent mental health disorders, including significant behavioural disorders. These multidisciplinary teams work to meet the functional and mental health needs of children and adolescents and their families.

The Direct Family Support Program for Children (DFSC)

The Direct Family Support Program for Children (DFSC) provides up to $2,200 per month to qualifying families caring for children with disabilities at home to access respite services. For families with children with higher needs, the Enhanced Family Support for Children program is also available, with up to $1,600 per month to purchase additional, specialized support.

Additional Information

Affiliated Organizations

 

PRINCE EDWARD ISLAND:

 

Once a child with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) has received a diagnosis, parents and caregivers begin to explore the treatment and support options for their child and their family. It can sometimes be challenging to understand the range of government-funded supports and services available to them and their loved ones. 

This page outlines funding and support services offered by the provincial government in Prince Edward Island.

AUTISM SERVICES

Autism services are offered to preschool and school-age children and youth in Prince Edward Island. Early Years Autism Specialists (contact information below) provide services to young children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders before entering school. An integrated approach between professionals and the school boards ensures a smooth transition into the school system, where support continues with school-based Autism Consultants.

For more information on Early Years Autism Services, including Early Years Autism Specialists, please refer to the province’s Guide to Early Years Autism Services, or contact an Early Years Autism Coordinator:

Early Years Autism Coordinator

Education and Lifelong Learning

Early Childhood Development

Aubin Arsenault Building

3 Brighton Rd.

Charlottetown, PE C1A 8T6

Tel: (902) 368-4472

Fax: (902) 368-4622

Email: caschwint@gov.pe.ca

AUTISM FUNDING

The Government of Prince Edward Island offers two different types of funding to support children with Autism Spectrum Disorders, organized by age: Preschool Autism Funding and School-Aged Autism Funding.

Preschool Autism Funding

If your child is preschool-aged, autism funding is available to help you and licensed early childhood centres to hire an Autism Assistant for children receiving Intensive Behavioural Intervention (IBI) support.

Eligibility

To qualify for this funding, your child must be preschool-aged, have an autism spectrum disorder diagnosis, and be enrolled in the Early Years Autism Service.

Application

It is helpful to refer to the province’s Autism Funding and Application Guideline throughout this process.

Once your child has been assessed by an Early Years Autism Specialist, the next step is to complete an application for preschool autism funding.

Your application should Include the intended start date for services, whether you or an early childhood centre will employ the Autism Assistant, and documentation on your child’s autism spectrum disorder diagnosis. Submit the application to the Autism Funding Coordinator.

If approved, you or your designated early childhood centre will receive an Autism Funding Agreement for review. Once signed, hours of service by the Autism Assistant can begin.

You or your designated early childhood centre submit Time Tracking Logs (see the application) to the Autism Funding Coordinator to receive payment after the Autism Assistant has provided IBI support.

Payment is issued to you or the designated early childhood centre according to a Regular Schedule. You, or the designated early childhood centre, then pay the Autism Assistant.

Autism Assistants attending training arranged by the Early Years Autism Coordinator record these hours on the Time Tracking Log in lieu of instructional time. If a substitute is required for an Autism Assistant in training, the wages for the substitute can be submitted to the Autism Funding Administrator for reimbursement.

Preschool autism funding may be provided to help offset Autism Assistant wages and benefits to a maximum of $13.18 per hour of service, up to 25 hours per week. This includes 12.59% of the funded amount to cover mandatory employer-related costs of Canada Pension, Employment Insurance, Worker’s Compensation, and Vacation Pay.

School-age Funding

School-age autism funding is available to help parents and designated community-based organizations to help offset the costs of hiring one-on-one tutors and aides in home and group settings.

Eligibility

School-age children (until the day of high school graduation) with a diagnosed autism spectrum disorder, who are enrolled in a public or private school, may be eligible for school-age autism funding. The child must require the support of an adult to access community-based activities and/or tutoring outside of school hours.

Application

It is helpful to refer to the province’s Autism Funding and Application Guideline throughout the funding application process.

To apply for school-age autism funding, first independently identify a tutor or aide to work with your child and agree on a wage rate, or identify an organization that will employ a tutor or aide.

Next, complete an application for school-age autism funding, including information about the tutor/aide or the organization that will employ the tutor/aide, the wage rate, and documentation of your child’s autism spectrum disorder diagnosis. Submit the application to the Autism Funding Administrator.

If approved, you or the designated organization will receive an Autism Funding Agreement for review. Once signed, hours of service by the tutor or aide can begin.

You or the designated organization submit Time Tracking Logs (see the application) to the Autism Funding Coordinator to receive payment after the tutor or aide has provided support.

Payment is issued to you or the designated organization according to a Regular Schedule. You, or the designated organization, then pay the tutor or aide.

Amount of Funding

Preschool autism funding may be provided to help offset Autism Assistant wages and benefits to a maximum of $13.18 per hour of service, up to 25 hours per week. This includes 12.59% of the funded amount to cover mandatory employer-related costs of Canada Pension, Employment Insurance, Worker’s Compensation, and Vacation Pay.

School-age autism funding may cover up to $6600 in tutor/aide services per year. You, or the designated organization, determine the number of hours and rate of pay.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Autism Services for Children and Youth

Resources:

●     Guide to Autism Services

●     Resource Guide for Parents of Children with Autism: Supporting Inclusive Practice

●     Building Social Skills: A Resource for Educators

●     Educating Children about Autism in an Inclusive Classroom

●     Elementary Transition Planning Resource

●     Secondary Transition Planning Resource

Autism Funding

Resources:

●     Autism Funding and Application Guidelines

●     2019 Autism Funding Payment Processing Schedule

 

NEWFOUNDLAND & LABRADOR

 

Once a child with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) has received a diagnosis, parents and caregivers begin to explore the treatment and support options for their child and their family. It can sometimes be challenging to understand the range of government-funded supports and services available to them and their loved ones.  

 

This page outlines funding and support services offered by the provincial government in Newfoundland and Labrador.

 

OVERVIEW

The province of Newfoundland and Labrador has been lacking in resources for families of children with autism. However, in April 2019, the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador released its Autism Action Plan, which outlines how it will provide increased service and supports for individuals and families living with autism spectrum disorder.

AUTISM ACTION PLAN 2019-2022

The following information is from Ministers Release Autism Action Plan (News Release, Government of Newfoundland and Labrador: releases.gov.nl.ca

The Autism Action Plan was developed with the Autism Action Council. Council representatives include individuals and families with lived experience, the Autism Society of Newfoundland and Labrador, the Newfoundland and Labrador Association for Community Living, health care and education professionals, as well as the departments of Health and Community Services; Children, Seniors and Social Development; Education and Early Childhood Development; Advanced Education, Skills and Labour; and Justice and Public Safety.

The Autism Action Plan consists of six focus areas:

  1. Awareness, Acceptance, Diagnosis and Assessment of ASD
  2. Support for Individuals, Families and Caregivers Living with ASD
  3. Evidence-Based Treatment and Management of ASD
  4. Education for Children and Youth Living with ASD
  5.  Living with ASD in the Community
  6. Professional Learning and Development in ASD     

Implementation of the Autism Action Plan will occur in three phases:

●     Short-term: 19 actions to be substantially completed in year one (March 2020)

●     Medium-term: 22 actions to be substantially completed in year two (March 2021)

●     Long-term: five actions to be substantially completed in year three (March 2022)

The provincial budget includes $2.5 million for plan implementation. Beginning in 2020, this amount will increase to an annual ongoing investment of $5 million.

The Autism Action Plan includes the creation of two new programs:

●     The Provincial Autism Services Program, which will expand Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA) programming beyond Grade 3 for children and youth up to age 21

●     Supporting Abilities Program for adults, which will encourage supportive employment opportunities

The council and the Department of Health and Community Services will be responsible for monitoring the implementation of the plan. Progress reports will be provided to the public. The first progress report will be provided in March 2020.

Intervention Services

Intervention Services consist of two programs: Direct Home Services Program and Community Behavioural Services Program. The Direct Home Service Program also includes an Intensive Applied Behaviour Analysis Program for children with a diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder.

Intensive Applied Behavioural Analysis Program:

Initiated in 1999 as a pilot for preschool-aged children with autism, this component of the Direct Home Services Program has expanded over the years and is currently available for children up to Grade 3. A diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder by a qualified professional is a prerequisite to receiving the service.

Applied behavioural analysis is an evidence-based, best-practice approach to early intervention for children with autism spectrum disorder. Applied behavioural analysis utilizes well-studied learning principles in a systematic way to teach skills that are meaningful for the child and the family. There is a focus on increasing positive behaviours and reducing or eliminating challenging behaviours through the use of positive programming principles.

AFFILIATED ORGANIZATIONS

Autism Society of Newfoundland and Labrador

The Autism Society, Newfoundland Labrador (ASNL) is a provincial charitable organization dedicated to promoting the development of individual, lifelong, and community-based supports and services for people with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), their families, and caregivers.

 

Photo by Ksenia Makagonova on Unsplash 

 

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