OAP Clinical Framework - Other Aspects of the OAP Clinical Framework

Crisis Situations

Urgent situations in the lives of children and youth with ASD may emerge, despite preventative measures. Regional OAP providers will have policies and procedures to follow with regard to varying degrees of crisis and the appropriate, immediate responses for their staff. Following a crisis, however, there may be times when OAP clinicians could make valuable contributions to future planning and prevention. Crisis situations involve a high risk of significant harm to self-and/or to others. OAP responses could include prioritizing services and supports for the child and family and working with community partners, including schools, in collaborative ways that are family-centered and evidence-based. A specialized expert crisis team that can respond to such situations should be developed in ways that do not affect support and behavioural intervention for other children and youth in the OAP.


Transition planning and associated best practices are important parts of clinical work. Many children and youth with ASD have considerable challenges in making significant changes in their lives. Skilled clinical planning and support services can make an important difference.11

OAP-Related Transitions

Any transition in or out of the OAP is also individually planned in partnership with the family and/or youth. It is an expectation that individualized, responsive and best practice transition processes be developed in collaboration with the OAP clinician(s), the family/youth, school, ongoing Family Team and the receiving community organizations.

Once a child/youth enters the OAP, they will remain in the program until age 18, per the OAP program guidelines. There is no “discharge” from the OAP and secondary students are supported with individualized transition planning as they shift from the OAP into adult services, and/or transition to postsecondary education and/or employment.

A family or child/youth may request to withdraw from the OAP either with or without transition support services. The removal of the diagnosis of ASD would also warrant an individualized transition plan out of the OAP. Should circumstances change for a child/youth who has withdrawn but remains within the age limit and catchment area, they are welcome to re-enter the OAP.

If a family in the OAP moves to a new region in Ontario, the intake process may include behaviour assessment and transition planning.

Other Transitions

Other transitions can include personal transitions (e.g., a move of the family home, changes in family makeup), school-related transitions (e.g., into Kindergarten, Middle and/or Secondary School) and the transition to adult services. Depending on need, any of these transitions can require individualized supports and services developed through careful planning between parents, youth, OAP clinicians, and education and community partners. It is important to note that for school-aged children and youth, the OAP recognizes the importance of children learning with their classmates at school, and designs OAP services and supports to accommodate this goal as much as possible.