Specialized Services

Autism Spectrum Disorders

In 2014-15, the ministry invested $192 million in services for children with ASD.

The number of children with ASD receiving IBI has increased from 675 in 2004-05 to an estimated 1,465 in 2014-15. The ministry is also responding to calls for transparency and consistency in decisions related to IBI therapy by making improvements to the AIP. The ministry has established an Independent Review Mechanism to allow families to request an independent review of decisions related to their child's eligibility or to their child's discharge from IBI services provided through AIP. In 2013-14, 2,148 children received IBI through AIP. The ministry has also established an ASD Clinical Expert Committee that provides advice to government on emerging research and best clinical practices.

In 2014-15, the ministry invested $25 million in ABA-based services and supports to help children and youth with ASD improve behaviour management or emotional regulation, communication, social/interpersonal and daily living skills. 2014-15, approximately 8,000 children and youth with ASD benefitted annually from these services in communities across Ontario. In 2013-14, the ministry sent more than 2,600 children with autism to March Break and summer camps.

The ministry provides a range of services and supports to children and youth with ASD. Programs and services include:

  • The AIP provides IBI and associated services such as transition services to children who have been diagnosed with autism that is considered to be toward the severe end of the autism spectrum;
  • ABA-based Services and Supports provides time-limited skill-building services to children and youth with ASD. These services are intended to improve children's communication, social/interpersonal, daily living, and behavioural/emotional skills;
  • The School Support Program (SSP) provides child-specific services that support the learning needs of individual students with ASD in schools (including transition supports provided through the Connections for Students initiative) and broader capacity-building supports for school boards and schools (e.g. training for educators); and
  • Respite services, including ASD Respite, Summer Camps, and March Break camps so that families can receive temporary relief while engaging their children in meaningful skill-building activities.

The ministry also supports programs for parents of children/youth with ASD, including the Potential Program, which offers one-to-one support for families through parent support networks, training, resource materials, and social learning opportunities.

Performance Measure: Autism Intervention Program – Number of children receiving IBI and ABA.

Programs 04-05 05-06 06-07 07-08 08-09 09-10 10-11 11-12 12-13 13-14 14-15
IBI 675/td> 795/td> 1,125/td> 1,404/td> 1,306/td> 1,428/td> 1,437/td> 1,418/td> 1,409/td> 1,460/td> 1,465
ABA 4,096 8,926 8,445 8,000

Figures reflect the actual total number of children who received service. For 2014-15, figures reflect the forecasted total number of children to receive service.
Note: The ABA program began service delivery part way through the 2011-12 fiscal year.
Note: ABA reflects non-unique total meaning some children may have received service more than once in the fiscal year

Ontario Child Benefit

The Ontario Child Benefit (OCB) gives low to moderate-income families financial support to help with the costs of raising children. In July 2007, eligible families received a one-time OCB down payment of up to $250 for each dependent child under age 18 and in July 2008, monthly payments began. In July 2009, the OCB increased the maximum annual payment to $1,100 per child. Between 2009 and 2014 the OCB was increased twice to $1,310 per year per child under the age of 18. Starting July 2015, future increases to the OCB will be tied to inflation using the Ontario Consumer Price Index. In July 2015 the annual maximum benefit rate will increase to $1,336 per eligible child and the Adjusted Family Net Income threshold will increase to $20,400. This will help eligible families keep pace with the costs of raising children.