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Ontario government delays new autism program until 2021

Little boy with disability in the glasses playing

The Ontario government says its new autism program won’t be fully in place until 2021, a delay that caused parents of children with autism to burst into tears at Queen’s Park because they say their children will continue to suffer without the services they need.

The Ontario government announced it is adopting the Ontario Autism Panel’s key recommendations for a needs-based autism program.

“We heard loud and clear from the autism community that we needed to partner and redesign a program together – one that supports the needs of individual children and youth and puts them at the centre of care,” said Todd Smith, Minister of Children, Community and Social Services.

Aligning with recommendations of the advisory panel, Minister Smith presented key elements of the new program, including a broad range of services that will offer families more supports for their child’s specific needs.

Until the program is in place, parents won’t be getting government funding for autism therapy based on the needs of their children.

The first phase of implementation will begin in April 2020, to be followed by additional phases throughout 2020 and 2021.


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