Ontario Announces Members of Autism Advisory Panel

Published on May 30, 2019

Panel set to begin working on recommendations for a needs-based funding model to support local families

Mississauga Centre – Children and youth with autism continue to be supported by Ontario’s government with today’s creation of an expert panel on needs-based supports. The 20-member panel will review feedback received during the consultation process from families in Mississauga Centre and throughout the province and provide the Minister of Children, Community and Social Services with recommendations.

Ontario has promised to double the current level of funding so children with autism with high needs receive appropriate supports.

“I’m happy to see a well-appointed and diverse panel that represents the entire province,” said Natalia Kusendova, MPP for Mississauga Centre. “The response to our consultations from families in Mississauga Centre has been tremendous. I am confident the voices in our community will be heard by this panel.”

Lisa MacLeod, Minister of Children, Community and Social Services is excited to see the panel’s report.

“I have always said we continue listening to families across Ontario and I look forward to seeing how the panel uses that feedback to make recommendations,” she said.

The panel will be co-chaired by former cabinet Minister Dr. Marie Bountrogianni and Autism Ontario Executive Director, Margaret Spoelstra.

Bountrogianni is the former Dean of the Chang School of Continuing Education at Ryerson University and served as Minister of Children and Youth Services from 2003-05. Spoelstra has worked with the Geneva Centre for Autism, Autism Ontario and is a member to the Order of Canada.

In addition to the co-Chairs, the Autism Advisory Panel includes parents of children with autism, clinicians, autism self-advocates, service providers, former public servants and others who are familiar with the autism file.

Today’s announcement follows extensive consultations with the public through telephone town halls and an online, province-wide survey which closes tomorrow. The survey can be found at Ontario.ca/Autism

The Autism Advisory Panel will discuss the feedback from those consultations and expects to offer recommendations to the Minister by September 2019. 

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