Ontario is holding public consultations on how children and youth with autism can be better supported.
“I invite all people across Ontario to take part in the largest consultation on autism in the history of the province,” said Lisa MacLeod, Minister of Children, Community and Social Services. “We are listening, and your advice will be invaluable in helping us best assess how we can build a needs-based approach to autism services, including through additional direct funding in Childhood Budgets.”
There are two ways for families to participate in the consultations during the month of May – an online survey and a series of telephone town halls. Participants will be asked to provide their insight into five different areas:
- How Ontario Autism Program services and supports help families and children’s learning and development.
- How families would use any additional funding based on need.
- Recommendations for the Ontario Autism Program.
- The role the education system should play in supporting students with autism to achieve their learning goals.
- How health and social supports for children with autism can be better integrated.
“It is our top priority to ensure every student in this province feels safe and supported at school,” said Lisa Thompson, Minister of Education. “We want to hear from Ontario families about how this government can continue to support both students and educators.”
The informaiton will be reviewed by a new advisory panel made up of parents with lived experience, adults with autism, educators and other experts and will provide advice on developing a new needs assessment process and approach to providing support to children and youth with autism.
“I look forward to collaborating with the advisory panel, a group of incredibly knowledgeable and passionate individuals that I know will provide invaluable advice for developing enhancements to the autism program,” added MacLeod.
“Our government wants to hear how we can do a better job connecting social services with health care services, and that includes how Ontario Health Teams interface with those supports,” said Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health and Long-Term Care. “It shouldn’t be up to the family to navigate the various government services available to support their child – it should be up to the government to put the child at the centre.”
Consultations Web Page: ontario.ca/autism
Dedicated Autism ServiceOntario Toll-Free Number: 1-888-284-8340