Working Toward a New Needs-Based and Sustainable Autism Program in Mississauga

Published on July 29, 2019

Ontario is continuing to listen to families of children with autism and the Autism Advisory Panel to support families in Mississauga with the goal of helping as many children as possible.

Today, Todd Smith, Minister of Children, Community and Social Services, announced steps the government is taking to provide continuity of service while giving the necessary time to work on the new program. These steps include:

  • Broadening the scope of the Autism Advisory Panel to develop recommendations for a new, needs-based and sustainable program. 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.
  • Continuing services for families with existing behaviour plans. Families will then be able to renew their plan for a second extension of up to six months, at their current level of intensity, or less where clinically appropriate.
  • Continuing to issue childhood budgets as the government works toward its needs-based program.

As previously announced, Ontario is investing an additional $278 million in the province's autism program, bringing the total amount of funding to $600 million annually.

“Ensuring the Ontario Autism Program is needs-based will help families that require specialized care for their children. We must work together to protect the sustainability of the program so that it can support children and families today and in the future.” said Natalia Kusendova, MPP for Mississauga Centre. “I am glad we are working with the Advisory Panel to find the best needs-based, efficient and long term solutions for families in Ontario.”

“As a result of listening to families, service providers and advocates across Ontario in the past few weeks, it is clear we all share a goal to provide the best care and make a positive difference in the lives of children and families living with autism in Ontario,” said Todd Smith, Minister of Children, Community and Social Services.

“Our government is committed to ensuring that Ontario schools are safe and inclusive places for students with autism,” said Stephen Lecce, Minister of Education. “We will work tirelessly with Ontario families, educators and school boards to achieve seamless transition and enhance school-based supports.”

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