Our mission at Autism Ontario is to ensure that each individual with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is provided the means to achieve quality of life as a respected member of society.

We are dedicated to increasing public awareness about autism and the day-to-day issues faced by individuals with autism, their families, and the professionals with whom they interact.

Through your support, Autism Ontario serves as the province’s largest collective voice representing the autism community, made up of knowledgeable parents and professionals who can speak to ASD issues across Ontario. We are dedicated to providing ASD information and education, supporting research, and advocating for programs and services.

Every person on the spectrum and their family has a story, and we'd like to say a heartfelt thank you to those who've shared why they support Autism Ontario.


Meet Kristi and River.

When my son, River Christie-White, started school, he did not talk. In fact, until the age of about 8, there were no words. And until River was born, I did not know what autism was. Today, Autism Ontario can be there for you when you get the diagnosis, or in fact, at any time you need help.

Now, at 17, my First Nations teen speaks in front of crowds across Canada and the United States, spreading not just awareness about autism, but the need for inclusiveness for all, and particularly supports for children and families with special needs on reserves.

As any parent, I have dreams for all my children. For River, I wish for him to live a normal, accepting life.

River’s goal is to build a community. Autism Ontario also works to build community, and strives to make a difference for River, and others across Ontario.

Click here to read Kristi and River's full story.


Meet Ethel Berry.

My daughter Stacy was born in 1970, and diagnosed with autism at the age of 4. At that time, various doctors and specialists we saw had no knowledge of what autism was, and told me to ‘put her in an institution’. I was appalled, how could a mother lock her child away? What was I going to do?

The answer was simple; I would find a way to raise our daughter. When Stacy started nursery school, I met other parents struggling to support their children on the spectrum. In response to these struggles, we joined the York Region Chapter of Autism Ontario and it was there I found a place like no other. To this day, I still consider this group a part of my family.

Back then, many people with autism and their families were ignored, ostracized, isolated, left out, and bullied. Sadly, this is still true today; parents have to fight to have their children’s needs understood. When I found Autism Ontario, I finally found a safe haven.

Click here to read Ethel's full story.


Meet Janet Culliton.

Our family joined Autism Ontario in 1993, shortly after our daughter Grace was diagnosed with autism. Our membership number was 109, hinting at the humble beginnings of this organization. But that was also a different time. When Grace was diagnosed, we were told that the incidence of autism was only one in 10,000, not the 1 in 66 it is today.

Autism Ontario has been our extended family. The friends and support offered through our local Autism Ontario Chapter has truly been one of the greatest blessings in life. The first Autism Ontario event I took Grace to was a movie at our local theatre, and the place was packed. I left the theatre in tears, not because the movie was sad but because I was overwhelmed by the sense of acceptance and freedom I experienced, our family finally found a place to belong.

You see, Autism Ontario has been with us from the beginning of our journey. Please give generously so that our family, and most importantly Grace, continue to include Autism Ontario as part of our family.

Click here to read Janet's full story.

Why do you give to Autism Ontario?

We want all Ontarians to see what we see in each person who has ASD. They have amazing things to offer when we create environments in which they can thrive.

We’d really like to hear why you believe in our work!

Margaret Spoelstra
Executive Director, Autism Ontario

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