Ontario Autism Program


News and Updates

Building trust with the autism community

A drop-in listening event with Minister of Children, Community and Social Services Todd Smith

Location: SAAAC Autism Centre, 705 Progress Ave #63, Scarborough, ON M1H 2X1
Date: Monday, July 22 | Time: 10:30-noon


Ontario Autism Program Services Updates (July 3, 2019)

Statement from the Minister of Children, Community and Social Services Todd Smith
Backgrounder: Supporting Ontario Children and Families Living with Autism

Ontario Announces Autism Advisory Panel

Ontario's government continues to support children and youth with autism with the creation of an expert panel on needs-based supports. On the heels of the province's autism consultations, the 20-member panel will collectively provide recommendations to Lisa MacLeod, Minister of Children, Community and Social Services, on the best way to incorporate consultation feedback into the Ontario Autism Program.

Read more


Key Ontario Autism Program changes designed to help more families of children and youth with autism are now in place. These include:

Families will begin to receive Childhood Budgets in April 2019. Eligible children who were on the waitlist as of April 1, 2019 and remain eligible can expect to receive their first Childhood Budget within the next 18 months.

Enhancing Support for Children with Autism

Ontario is taking action to enhance the Ontario Autism Program to help ensure that all children with autism receive support. The new enhancements build on autism changes first announced in early February.

Meeting the Individual Needs of Children with Autism

Over the coming months, the government will explore how best to provide additional supports to families based on the assessed needs of their child. We will take input from parents and stakeholders for the next several months to determine how to better support children with more complex needs and provide additional support to them.

Moving Children Off the Waitlist

The government is working to move all 23,000 children off the waitlist over the next 18 months so they have timely access to support through Childhood Budgets. We will be taking a phased approach to bringing families who are currently on the waitlist into the program. Children on the waitlist will transition to Childhood Budgets based on a combination of the time they have been waiting for service, and with a continued focus on earlier intervention. Considerations will also be made for children five years of age and youth 17 years of age to help maximize funding for them.

Eliminating Income Testing

Families of children and youth under the age of 18 with a written diagnosis of autism from a qualified professional will now be eligible for a Childhood Budget. Children under the age of six are eligible to receive $20,000 annually in direct funding, while those six and over are eligible to receive $5,000 annually.

Further Expanding Eligible Services

Through Childhood Budgets, families will have access to a broader range of eligible services. Full details on eligible and ineligible services are available here.

Smoothing the Transition for Families Receiving Services

All children who currently have an Ontario Autism Program Behaviour Plan will continue to receive the services outlined in that plan until its end date. When your behaviour plan ends on or after April 1, families will be able to access one additional six-month plan at up to the current level of intensity.

Supporting Students with Autism Spectrum Disorder

The Ministry of Education has announced that they are increasing supports for educators and building on existing programs so school boards will be prepared to help ensure that students with autism will feel safe and supported in their classrooms as they transition into school.

More information about school-based supports for students with autism can be found on the Ministry of Education’s website.

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What is the Ontario Autism Program?

Ontario is improving services and supports so that more families of children and youth with autism can receive service.

Introducing Childhood Budgets starting April, 2019

New Childhood Budgets will provide more families with direct funding so they can access a broader range of eligible services that they believe are most helpful for their child and family. This will include behavioural services, including assessments and consultations, speech language pathology, occupational therapy and physiotherapy as well as family/caregiver capacity building and training, respite services, technology aids and travel.

The ministry will be taking a phased approach to bringing families who are currently on the waitlist into the program. Children on the waitlist will transition to Childhood Budgets based on a combination of the time they have been waiting for service and with a continued focus on earlier intervention. Considerations will also be made for children five years of age and youth 17 years of age to help maximize funding for them.

Eligible families on the waitlist will receive a letter from the ministry when it is time for them to apply for a Childhood Budget. Families on the waitlist on April 1, 2019 can expect to receive their first Childhood Budget within the next 18 months.

Childhood Budgets will be available for all children with a diagnosis of autism up to age 18. The total amount of the Childhood Budget will depend on how long a child is in the program. Children under the age of six are eligible to receive $20,000 annually in direct funding, while those six and over are eligible to receive $5,000 annually.

Expanding Ontario’s five autism diagnostic hubs

Ontario is doubling funding to the diagnostic hubs over the next two years to help more children receive an autism diagnosis sooner and help connect families to local services in their communities.

Evidence shows that when children start behavioural intervention between ages two and five, they gain improvements in cognitive and language development, are better prepared for school and have better long-term outcomes in adulthood.

Establishing a family-focused, independent intake agency

Over the next year, the ministry will establish a new independent intake agency which will assist families in registering for the program, provide them with their Childhood Budgets and offer support to help them choose which services to purchase. While the independent intake agency is being established, the ministry will support families to access their Childhood Budgets.

Supporting families through change

Autism Ontario is offering orientation and system navigation supports to families who are accessing or interested in accessing the program. They will be offering workshops, training sessions and individual direct support. You can visit Autism Ontario’s website or contact Autism Ontario staff at 1-800-472-7789 to find out more.

Please note, Autism Ontario will not be involved in registration, intake, waitlist management or funding distribution for the Ontario Autism Program.

Improving accountability and oversight

The government is taking steps to enhance service delivery, improve confidence in service providers and ensure the long-term sustainability of the Ontario Autism Program.

This includes introducing a deadline of April 1, 2021 for clinical supervisors to meet the program’s qualification requirements, conducting regular financial audits of Childhood Budgets, and implementing an online list of experienced, trained clinical supervisors of behavioural services to help families access service providers.

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Information for Families


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Eligible and Ineligible Expenses

Eligible Services and Supports

The following is a list of services and supports that are eligible for purchase with a Childhood Budget through the Ontario Autism Program (OAP):

Evidence Based Behavioural Services

Families may use Childhood Budgets to purchase:

  • A behavioural assessment of a child or youth’s current strengths and needs to support treatment planning, setting goals and identifying strategies for a child or youth’s behavioural service.
  • Evidence-based behavioural services, including services based on the principles of Applied Behaviour Analysis.
  • Behavioural consultation with primary caregivers and/or other relevant professionals involved with a child or youth. Consultation may support:
    • aligning goals with other services;
    • supporting and participating in the Coordinated Service Planning process;
    • individualized transition planning to support transition to school, including post-secondary; and
    • connecting with adult services and community supports, including employment supports.

Please note: Behavioural clinicians delivering evidence-based behavioural services and supports listed above must be supervised by an OAP Clinical Supervisor who meets, or is working towards, the OAP’s qualifications requirements and who has completed and signed an attestation form to this effect.

To help families find experienced, trained OAP Clinical Supervisors, families can use the OAP Provider List, hosted by Autism Ontario. The Provider List is an online list of experienced, trained behavioural clinicians who have demonstrated that they meet all of the qualifications to be an OAP Clinical Supervisor. Before being placed on the list, Autism Ontario will check each clinician’s qualifications by reviewing supporting documents, consulting public registries, and conducting employer reference checks.

Families can continue to work with an OAP Clinical Supervisor who is not on the OAP Provider List as long they have, or are working towards, the OAP qualifications requirements and submit a signed attestation form to this effect. Families should have their Clinical Supervisor provide them with a signed copy of the attestation form before initiating a service agreement with the provider. Families will need to attach this attestation form when submitting their invoices to reconcile funding.

Beginning in April 2019, clinicians who meet all of the OAP’s qualifications requirements can apply to join the OAP Provider List.

It is anticipated that after April 1, 2021, it will be mandatory for all OAP Clinical Supervisors to be on the Provider List. At that time, only OAP Clinical Supervisors who are on the OAP Provider List will be able to oversee behavioural services purchased through OAP Childhood Budgets.

Evidence-based means that there is high-quality scientific research showing the service has proven to be effective. It also means that a clinical team recommends the service as appropriate for a child, based on the team’s clinical expertise, as well as the family’s interests, goals, preferences and needs.

Behavioural services refers to services that teach children and youth the skills they need to participate at home, at school, and in the community and can help to encourage functional and socially important skills, such as getting dressed or talking to other people. These services can also help to discourage challenging behaviour that interferes with learning and wellbeing, such as self-harm or aggression towards others. Behavioural services also involve teaching caregivers the skills they need so they can support their child’s development and address needs as they arise.

Applied Behaviour Analysis is an applied science, based on the principles of learning and behaviour. Applied Behaviour Analysis is supported by a body of scientific knowledge and research and has established standards for evidence-based practice.

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Additional Autism Services and Supports

Families may also use Childhood Budgets to purchase:

  • Curriculum-based interventions with standardized practice manuals based on the principles of Applied Behaviour Analysis, such as Naturalistic Developmental Behavioural Interventions.
  • Life skills and social skills training programs, such as programming to facilitate social interactions and communication with others, following social rules, developing self-help skills, and promoting independence.
  • Employment supports for youth preparing to transition to adulthood, including training and services for youth with autism, to support them in building employability skills and to help them prepare for and secure employment. These may include skills development, job interview support, job coaching, and individualized training and supports.
  • Parent and caregiver capacity building and training. This includes:
    • Increasing knowledge and skills using behavioural strategies
    • Autism-specific training
    • Online modules for families to learn behavioural strategies to use with their child
    • Tuition fees for a college diploma in autism or behavioural sciences.
  • Specialized independent school services that are not funded by the government, and that are autism-specific, individualized and delivered based on the principles of applied behaviour analysis.
  • Fees to access a certified service or guide dog from an accredited training facility. This includes the one-time application processing fee, equipment fees and any applicable training costs. An accredited training facility includes an organization that is a member of Assistance Dogs International, or a school that is a member of the International Guide Dog Federation.

Please note: the autism services and supports listed above, under Additional Autism Services and Supports, do not require an OAP Clinical Supervisor, unless otherwise specified. All manualized, curriculum-based interventions should be supervised by experts in the specific intervention program who have achieved certification and demonstrated treatment fidelity, and who have advanced skills in developmental and behavioural intervention. It is the responsibility of families to confirm the training and skills of their chosen service provider.

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Other Therapies and Specialized Services

Families may use Childhood Budgets to purchase:

  • Speech and language pathology delivered by a Speech-Language Pathologist who is registered and licensed with the College of Audiologists and Speech-Language Pathologists of Ontario. This includes speech and language pathology assessments, service delivery and consultation.

    For more information about speech-language pathology or to locate a speech-language pathologist in your area please visit their website: caslpo.com.

  • Occupational therapy delivered by an occupational therapist who is registered and licensed with the College of Occupational Therapists of Ontario. This includes occupational therapy assessments, service delivery and consultation.

    For more information about occupational therapy or to locate an occupational therapist in your area please visit their website: www.coto.org.

  • Physiotherapy delivered by a physiotherapist who is registered and licensed with the College of Physiotherapists of Ontario. This includes physiotherapy assessments, service delivery and consultation.

    For more information about physiotherapy or to locate a physiotherapist in your area please visit their website: www.collegept.org.

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Respite

Families may use Childhood Budgets to cover:

  • Respite services, to support families during the day, evening or weekend, and can be provided in the family home or outside of the family home. Respite services can include supervising a child or youth or providing supports with daily living activities such as personal care and taking a child out for an activity.
  • Fees for community recreational activities and classes, cultural activities and camp programs that promote independence and support the development of social, communication and life skills. This includes sports activities, arts and music programs, museums, camps, and autism specific programs.

Respite services can be purchased from a wide range of organizations and individuals. This may include, but is not limited to, public and private organizations that serve children and youth with special needs, such as respite agencies, municipal programs, and some Community Living Organizations and some Children’s Treatment Centres, family members, neighbours and/or friends.

Please note: Funding may be used to compensate certain family members for respite support, however it cannot be used to compensate the primary caregiver, regardless of residence. Please see the list of ineligible expenses for more information.

It is recommended that families request that any service provider providing respite to their family provide proof of a recent and valid Criminal Record Check and Vulnerable Sector Screening.

For more information about respite care or to locate respite care providers in your area please visit www.respiteservices.com.

Respite services provide temporary relief to families of children and youth with autism by giving primary caregivers a break. These services can also provide the child or youth with the opportunity to engage with adults and peers outside of the family in meaningful activities and can support building independence and social skills.

A vulnerable sector check is a police information check plus a check to see if a person has a record suspension (pardon) for sexual offences. Vulnerable sector checks were created in 2000 to protect children and vulnerable persons.

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Family Service Planning and Support

Families may use Childhood Budgets to cover:

  • Interpretation and translation services to support information sharing regarding a child or youth’s eligible services and supports, such as case conferences, progress meetings, translating written materials.
  • Up to ten percent (10%) of the annual Childhood Budget amount on individualized family service planning and support. For example, this may include assisting families with navigating, planning and coordinating services for their child, delegating budget management responsibilities, and managing administrative supports specifically related to the Childhood Budget such as bookkeeping, bank fees, payroll and scheduling.
  • Administrative employer costs, such as Canada Pension Plan Contributions, Employment Insurance, Workplace Safety and Insurance Board premiums.

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Travel

Families may use Childhood Budgets to cover:

  • Travel costs to access eligible services and supports and training. This includes travel within Ontario to access:
    • Eligible services and supports, including travel to a service provider or to pay service providers to travel to the family; and
    • Training, including autism-specific training for caregivers or service providers.
  • Families traveling less than 100 kilometres (one-way) may use up to 10 percent (10%) of their annual Childhood Budget. Travel expenses may include bus, train, parking or mileage at $0.40 per kilometre for a private vehicle for roundtrip travel.
  • Families traveling 100 kilometres or more (one-way) may use up to 20 percent (20%) of their annual Childhood Budget. Travel expenses may include actual air fare, bus, train, parking or mileage at $0.41 per kilometre for a private vehicle for roundtrip travel. Please note, if families are unable to access service providers in their own community, they may claim travel expenses for the most cost-effective method of receiving services as close to home as possible.

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Technology

Families may use Childhood Budgets to purchase:

  • One of the following: desktop computer, laptop computer, touch screen tablet or smart phone every two years to support their child’s goals.
  • Applicable computer software or applications to support their child’s goals.

Before purchasing technology, program materials or supporting equipment to support a child or youth’s goals, it is recommended that families consider the following:

  • Consulting a professional to help choose the right technology, program materials or supporting equipment for their child;
  • Working with a qualified professional(s) to develop a plan to support the implementation, ongoing monitoring and evaluation of their child’s progress;
  • Determining if the technology, materials or equipment can be accessed through other available funding programs or on loan; and/or
  • Carefully reviewing the list of eligible and ineligible expenses.

If families are unsure about whether an item is eligible they should email oap@ontario.ca or call 1-888-444-4530 before purchasing.

Families could consider speaking with professionals who may be involved with their child as they may be able to provide support or advice when purchasing technology, program materials or equipment for their child.

  • Board Certified Behaviour Analyst
  • Occupational Therapist
  • Psychologist
  • Physiotherapist
  • Psychological Associate
  • Physician
  • Speech-Language Pathologist
  • Psychiatrist

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Equipment and Materials Related to Eligible Services and Supports

Families may use Childhood Budgets to purchase:

  • Program materials such as books, visual timers, curriculum assessment kits, to support a child’s goals.
  • Supporting equipment such as protective equipment, Kevlar sleeves, augmentative communication devices, to support a child’s goals.

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Ineligible Services and Supports

The following is a list of services and supports that are NOT eligible for purchase through Childhood Budgets:

Ineligible Services and Supports

  • Fees for other therapies/specialized services not identified as an eligible expense above (for example, nursing, dieticians, and massage therapy)
  • Housing and home maintenance costs (for example, rent, home renovations or modifications, housekeeping, swimming pools, hot tubs and playground equipment)
  • Household items and electronics (for example, furniture, musical instruments, appliances and televisions)
  • Indirect respite services and supports (for example, cleaning, meal preparation, snow removal and care of other family members)
  • Holiday travel (for example, personal or family vacations)
  • Telephone/telecommunications (for example, home phone service, internet service and mobile phone services)
  • Groceries, food and restaurant meals
  • Clothing and personal goods and services (for example, toiletries, spa treatments, aesthetic and cosmetic services)
  • Dental care and services
  • Vitamins, medical supplies, orthotics, supplements, incontinence supplies, and special diets
  • Services already received through the Ontario Disability Support Program (for example, drug benefits and medical aids)
  • Private school tuition and day care fees associated with programs that are not autism-specific and are not delivered based on the principles of Applied behaviour Analysis
  • Vehicle purchases, leases and rentals
  • Website advertising costs associated with finding qualified professionals
  • Investments, including contributions to Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP), Registered Disability Savings Plan (RDSP), and Registered Education Savings Plan (RESP)
  • Ongoing costs associated with the care of certified service or guide dogs, (for example, food, treats, toys, veterinary care and grooming) and fees associated with registering or purchasing a service dog from an organization that is not a recognized accredited training facility
  • Any services and supports delivered by a primary caregiver1 regardless of residence, or a child under the age of 18 years
  • Cancellation fees for autism service and supports due to missed or cancelled sessions

1 - A primary caregiver can be the child or youth’s parent, legal guardian, children’s aid society, or any person providing kinship service or customary care.

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If families are not sure if a service or support is eligible for purchase using a Childhood Budget or have questions, they are encouraged to discuss it with an Ontario Autism Program representative. To contact a representative please email oap@ontario.ca or call 1-888-444-4530.

Funding provided to families through Childhood Budgets must only be used to purchase eligible expenses to support children and youth with autism and their families, as set out in this document, which may be amended at any time in the ministry’s sole discretion, and as may otherwise be communicated by the ministry.

Families are required to account for the use of funds by submitting documentation and proof of payment to the Ministry for reconciliation. When completing the reconciliation process, families will be required to complete an OAP Childhood Budget Expense Form and submit expenses based on the step by step instructions included in the form, no less than one month, or 30 days prior to your next annual renewal date. The annual Childhood Budget renewal date is one year from the date of the current funding agreement.

The ministry may suspend or terminate funding where the individual receiving or managing an OAP Childhood Budget does not comply with the terms and conditions of the funding agreement.

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Autism Ontario offers support to all families interested in accessing the Ontario Autism Program, currently registered in the program and waiting for a Childhood Budget or families currently receiving services. Autism Ontario will provide workshops, training sessions and individual direct support.

Supports available include:

  • Helping families understand the Ontario Autism Program and services available to purchase with their Childhood Budgets;
  • Help finding qualified providers;
  • Help navigating autism services, including assisting families find local services and supports in their communities;
  • Providing access to parent resources and webinars; and
  • Providing opportunities for families to connect with each other at events, peer-to-peer mentoring and social learning opportunities for children and youth with autism.

Families can talk to service navigators about the program and ask for help finding service providers and resources available in their local communities. This will include programs, services and resources that families can purchase with their Childhood Budgets.

You can visit Autism Ontario’s website or contact them at 1-800-472-7789 if you have questions such as:

  • Where can I find help to complete and submit the required documentation to apply for a Childhood Budget?
  • What supports and services can I purchase with my Childhood Budget?
  • How can I find and select a qualified service provider?
  • Where can I find help to complete and submit the required documentation to reconcile invoices?
  • What supports are available for my child in my local community?

Autism Ontario will not provide families with service planning, case management, clinical support, behavioural services or one-on-one parent coaching. These supports can be purchased with Childhood Budgets.

Autism Ontario is also not involved in registration, intake, waitlist management, funding distribution or reconciliation for the program. If you require assistance with these areas, please email the ministry’s Central Intake and Registration team at: oap@ontario.ca or call 1-888-444-4530.

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Ontario Autism Program Provider List

The provider list is hosted by Autism Ontario and is available at: www.oapproviderlist.ca.

It is an online listing of clinical supervisors of behavioural services for children and youth with autism. It is a resource Ontario families can use as they search for, select and confirm the qualifications of clinical supervisors who oversee the delivery of behavioural services.

Beginning April 1, clinical supervisors can apply to join the list. They will need to demonstrate that they meet all of the program’s qualification requirements. Clinical supervisors who are working towards their qualifications will not be permitted to join the provider list until they have achieved all qualifications.

The provider list is currently voluntary, meaning that families receiving Childhood Budgets can continue to hire clinical supervisors who have not yet joined the list as long as they are working towards the qualifications and submit a signed attestation form.

On April 1, 2021, the provider list will become mandatory for all clinical supervisors who wish to provide behavioural services funded through the Ontario Autism Program.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Family FAQs
  1. When will my child be able to access the Ontario Autism Program?

    Families on the waitlist will begin to be invited to apply for Childhood Budgets in April, 2019. Eligible families on the waitlist will receive a letter from the ministry when it is time for them to apply for a Childhood Budget.

    The ministry will be taking a phased approach to bringing families who are currently on the waitlist into the program. Children on the waitlist will transition to Childhood Budgets based on a combination of the time they have been waiting for service, and with a continued focus on earlier intervention.

    Considerations will also be made for children five years of age and youth 17 years of age to help maximize funding for them.

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  2. My child has been diagnosed with autism, how do we register for the Ontario Autism Program?

    All children and youth under the age of 18 with a written diagnosis of autism from a qualified professional can register for the Ontario Autism Program.

    You can register your child for the program by contacting the ministry’s Central Intake and Registration Team on the Contact Us page.

    Once you have submitted your written diagnosis and other required documentation to the Central Intake and Registration Team, it will be processed and you will receive confirmation of your registration in the program. Your child will then be added to the waitlist.

    Eligible families on the waitlist will receive a letter from the ministry when it is time for them to apply for a Childhood Budget.

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  3. My child is receiving behavioural services. Will we continue to receive service?

    All children who currently have a behaviour plan will continue to receive the services outlined in that plan until its end date. When your behaviour plan ends on or after April 1, you will be able to access one additional six-month plan at up to the current level of intensity.

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  4. What happens if my child is on the waitlist on April 1, 2019?

    Childhood Budgets will begin to be implemented in April and will be available for all children with a diagnosis of autism up to age 18.

    All eligible families who were on the waitlist as of April 1, 2019 can expect to receive their first Childhood Budgets within the next 18 months. These families will receive a letter from the ministry when it is time for them to apply for a Childhood Budget.

    The ministry will be taking a phased approach to bringing families who are currently on the waitlist into the program. Children on the waitlist will transition to Childhood Budgets based on a combination of the time they have been waiting for service, and with a continued focus on earlier intervention.

    Considerations will also be made for children five years of age and youth 17 years of age to help maximize funding for them.

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  5. If my child is already registered for the program, do we need to register again?

    If you are already registered for the Ontario Autism Program, you do not need to register again.

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Childhood Budgets
  1. What is a Childhood Budget?

    New Childhood Budgets provide more families with direct funding so they can access a broader range of eligible services that they believe are most helpful for their child and family. Childhood Budgets are available for all children with a diagnosis of autism up to age 18.

    Eligible families on the waitlist as of April 1, 2019 can expect to receive their first Childhood Budgets within the next 18 months.

    The total amount of the Childhood Budget will depend on how long your child is in the program. Children under the age of six are eligible to receive $20,000 annually in direct funding, while those six and over are eligible to receive $5,000 annually.

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  2. Will Childhood Budgets be available for everyone on April 1?

    No.

    All eligible families who were on the waitlist as of April 1, 2019 will receive their first Childhood Budgets within the next 18 months. These families on the waitlist will receive a letter from the ministry when it is time for them to apply for a Childhood Budget.

    We will be taking a phased approach to bringing families who are currently on the waitlist into the program. Children on the waitlist will transition to Childhood Budgets based on a combination of the time they have been waiting for service, and with a continued focus on earlier intervention.

    Considerations will also be made for children five years of age and youth 17 years of age to help maximize funding for them.

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  3. How are Childhood Budgets determined?

    All children and youth under the age of 18 with a written diagnosis of autism from a qualified professional can register in the Ontario Autism Program.

    Eligible families on the waitlist will receive a letter from the ministry when it is time for them to apply for a Childhood Budget.

    Childhood Budgets will be determined by the length of time your child will be in the program. The total amount of the Childhood Budget will depend on how long your child is in the program. Children under the age of six are eligible to receive $20,000 annually in direct funding, while those six and over are eligible to receive $5,000 annually.

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  4. What services and supports will we be able to purchase?

    Through Childhood Budgets, families will have control and more options to purchase the eligible services they value most from the providers of their choice on a fee-for-service basis.

    A complete list of eligible and ineligible expenses is available here.

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  5. What happens if I spend part of my Childhood Budget on ineligible expenses?

    If you use funding on ineligible expenses, or you are unable to provide supporting documentation for some of the funds in your Childhood Budget, the difference will be subtracted from your next year’s Childhood Budget funding amount.

    The ministry may suspend or terminate funding if the person managing the Childhood Budget does not comply with the terms and conditions of the funding agreement.

    If you have questions about eligible and/or ineligible expenses, please email oap@ontario.ca or call 1-800-444-4530.

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  6. If I have two children with autism, how will this impact the funding I receive?

    If family has two children with autism, you can apply to receive a Childhood Budget for each child.

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  7. Can I appeal my Childhood Budget amount?

    The total Childhood Budget amount for each family will vary based on the length of time a child is in the program. This will be applied in the same way for all families, and exceptions cannot be made for individual families. As a result, Childhood Budget amounts may not be appealed.

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Behavioural Services
  1. Are behavioural clinicians regulated like doctors and nurses?

    No. However, most behavioural clinicians at the clinical supervisor level are voluntarily certified as Board Certified Behavior Analysts through the Behavior Analyst Certification Board in the United States.

    Some behavioural clinicians are regulated as a different kind of professional such as a psychologist or psychological associate or speech-language pathologist.

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  2. Can I work with a clinical supervisor who is not on the provider list?

    Yes. Before April 1, 2021, families can work with a clinical supervisor who is not on the provider list as long they have, or are working towards, the qualifications requirements.

    After April 1, 2021, it will be mandatory for all clinical supervisors providing behavioural services in the program to be on the provider list.

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  3. Where can I make a complaint about a behavioural clinician?

    You can make a complaint about your clinical supervisor with their professional organization. Beginning April 1, 2021, your clinical supervisor must belong to one of the following organizations:

    You can also consider filing a complaint with the clinician’s employer, or a third-party, such as:

    • Consumer Protection Ontario, for billing or other business matters,
    • The Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario, for matters related to discrimination,
    • Local police services, for criminal matters.

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Other Services
  1. Can my child continue to access other services that are not part of the Ontario Autism Program?

    Families of children with autism who are eligible can access other ministry programs for children with special needs, such as:

    • healthy child development programs including Healthy Babies Healthy Children, Early Years Check-In, Infant Development Program, Preschool Speech and Language;
    • rehabilitation services delivered by Children’s Treatment Centres; and,
    • special needs resource teachers in child care settings.

    Families, where eligible, can also continue to access the Special Services at Home and the Assistance for Children with Severe Disabilities programs.

    Youth with developmental disabilities, including eligible youth with autism who are preparing for adulthood, can access integrated transition planning. Beginning at age 14, every young person with a developmental disability can have a written plan developed that:

    • informs educational planning
    • helps the young person transition from secondary school and from youth services to adulthood
    • helps prepare family members for these transitions
    • Identifies goals for work, further schooling, and community living

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  2. How will my child or youth be supported so they can succeed in school?

    The Ministry of Education has announced that they are increasing supports for educators and building on existing programs so school boards will be prepared to help ensure that students with autism will feel safe and supported in their classrooms as they transition into school.

    More information about school-based supports for students with autism can be found on the Ministry of Education’s website.

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Additional Resources

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