Ontario Autism Consultations

What happens after the consultations?

The information gathered through the consultations will be reviewed by the Autism Advisory Panel. They will review the information gathered through the consultations and provide advice on developing a new needs assessment process and approach to supporting children and youth with complex needs.

Advisory Panel

The Autism Advisory Panel is made up of parents with lived experience, autistic adults, educators, and experts from a range of disciplines like psychology, behavioural analysis, rehabilitation services, developmental pediatrics and research. The panel has been asked to develop recommendations for a new, needs-based and sustainable Ontario Autism Program with the goal of helping as many children as possible. The panel is examining results from online surveys, telephone town halls and written submissions as well as considering relevant evidence, science and data to submit its advice for the end of summer. The ministry is aiming for implementation of a new program April 1, 2020.

Panel Mandate / Delivery

Mandate and Scope of Work

The Panel will be responsible for:

  • Reviewing and analyzing the results and input received from the province-wide survey of families including, caregivers of children/youth with autism, and a series of telephone town halls.
  • Providing input and advice on:
    • the development of a consistent approach to describing children’s functional abilities and needs in domains such as communication, cognition, social skills, executive functioning and self-regulation based on best practice and evidence;
    • an approach to addressing need in a consistent, transparent and cost-effective manner within the fixed envelope of funding for the OAP ($600 million with the objective of maximizing child and youth outcomes;
    • a consistent approach to determining the needs of children and youth to determine their roles, responsibilities and qualifications of clinicians and/or others conducting needs assessments; and
    • a proposed implementation approach for the above.
  • Providing advice to the ministries on how best to coordinate services and leverage investments in the OAP, education and child development sectors and health system to facilitate a child-centered approach.


By the end of Summer 2019, the Co-Chairs will submit to the Minister of Children, Community and Social Services a summary of their input, perspectives and advice on the design of a needs-based program that is:

  • sustainable within an annual budget of $600 million;
  • serves as many children and families as possible; and
  • aligned and coordinated with school and the health system to facilitate a child-centered approach.

The summary submitted to the Minister should be based on Panel consensus where possible. Where consensus is not achieved, this should be summarized and presented along with dissenting opinions and presented as a supplementary appendix.

Panel Co-Chairs

Panel Members

Additional Resources