By: Grandview Kids — February 19, 2019
On February 6, 2019, the provincial government announced significant changes to the Ontario Autism Program (OAP). These changes, as outlined on the Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services website, include:
- The introduction of a Childhood Budget that covers the period of time until a child turns 18. The budgets can be used to help fund behavioural services such as assessments and consultations, family/caregiver capacity building and training, respite services, technology aids/supports, and travel costs for appointments. The amount of the budget will depend on the length of time a child will be in the program, with supports targeted to lower and middle-income families.
- Introducing a provider list to help families find qualified clinical supervisors for behavioural services.
- Establishing an independent agency to complete the income testing post confirmation of a diagnosis to access funding.
- Establishing a role for Autism Ontario to help families with strategies to manage their funding, and assist them in navigating the purchasing and accessing of services.
- Doubling funding to expand the province’s five diagnostic hubs so that families can receive a diagnosis sooner.
- As an Autism Spectrum Disorder Diagnostic Hub in Durham Region through a partnership with Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario, Grandview is pleased to receive additional funding to assess children sooner. Grandview also provides OAP secondary intake/referral services for families in Durham Region and will continue to provide this service pending any further clarification and direction from the ministry.
We appreciate this announcement has a significant impact on many of the children, youth and families we are fortunate enough to work with. Changes to programs and services that are provincially funded can be difficult to navigate.
We encourage clients and families to stay updated on what is happening with the OAP via the Ministry’s website and to speak with your service providers.
For information on community supports and services please connect with Grandview via our Service navigation team at 905-728-1673 extension 2468.