Today, the Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services announced changes to the Ontario Autism Program (OAP) that will add caregiver-mediated early years programs as a service pathway in the OAP. In a collaboration called the Toronto Autism Services Network, Strides Toronto and six other autism service agencies will deliver the provincially funded caregiver-mediated early years programs in Toronto.
The Toronto Autism Services Network will offer three caregiver-mediated early years programs to support families with children who are 12 months to 48 months at the start of the intervention: Project ImPACT (12-48 months), Social ABCs (12-42 months) and Pivotal Response Treatment (PRT) (12-48 months). The programs will help young children develop core foundational skills in the areas of communication, socialization and play, and will provide parents/caregivers with specific strategies to support their child’s development.
The ministry will begin reaching out to families registered with the OAP in the coming weeks to let them know they are eligible for this program. Families can then contact the Toronto Autism Services Network (www.torontoautismservices.ca) to learn more about the registration process and programs that are offered.
The Toronto Autism Services Network includes seven agencies—Geneva Centre for Autism, Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital, Kerry’s Place Autism Services, Lumenus Community Services, SAAAC Autism Centre, Strides Toronto, and Surrey Place—with decades of experience providing high-quality services to children with autism spectrum disorder and their families. The network’s supports are coordinated with other clinical services to create a comprehensive, wraparound support team that can make informed decisions to meet each family’s individual needs. With this shared vision of support, families with an autism diagnosis will benefit from a single access point to receive consistent, high-quality, family-centred autism services in Toronto.