I think my child may be on the autism spectrum.  What should I do?

You can talk to your family doctor, who may refer you to the Ottawa Children’s Treatment Centre (OCTC), which is part of the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO) for an assessment, or you can call OCTC yourself (613-737-0871 or toll-free 1-800-565-4839).  It is a good idea to make the call as soon as you have questions, because the waiting list is long.

There is a great info-graphic here that provides a roadmap to autism services in Ottawa.


My child has been diagnosed with an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).  How can I find services and support?

A comprehensive directory of services can be found in this downloadable document.

A roadmap to navigating services in the Ottawa area is available here.

The Portia Learning Centre has created a guide for the first year following diagnosis here.

If your child was diagnosed through OCTC, you can have a social worker appointed to help you find services and support you in getting started.

Service Coordination can assign a case worker who can help you identify services, find respite workers, and apply for financial support to pay for these through the Special Services at Home program.  For more information, see http://www.scsottawa.on.ca/ or call 613-748-1788 (or toll-free 1 855 376-3737).

Children at Risk also provides support for children with ASDs and their families.  For more information, see http://www.childrenatrisk.ca/aboutUs.php, or call (613) 741-8255


I am an adult and I think I may have an autism spectrum disorder.  How can I be assessed or get a diagnosis?

You should first see if you can get a referral from your regular doctor to get an assessment covered under OHIP.  Take a list of reasons you think you might be on the spectrum with you to your doctor's office.  If you have extended health care coverage, you can contact psychologists directly to seek a diagnostic assessment.  If you don't have extended coverage, you can always ask psychologists if they have a sliding scale available.

A list of professionals who might help with diagnosis in the Ottawa area is here.


What is the best way to find out about current services and programs available?

To get frequent updates about what is available in the Ottawa area, subscribe to the Ottawa Autism Support group on Yahoo:  http://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/autismsupportOttawa/info


What support groups are available through the Ottawa Chapter of Autism Ontario?

Aspirations, a group for youth aged 16 and up and adults with ASDs.  Parents, caregivers, and professionals are welcome to attend.  Meets from 7-9 pm on the third Monday of each month, except when this falls on a holiday, at which times the meeting is moved to the preceding Monday. For more information email ottawa@autismontario.com 

Asperfemme, a group for women with Asperger’s aged 16 and up.  Meets the first Friday of from 7-9 pm. For more information email ottawa@autismontario.com 

Support groups do not run in July and August.


What is the address of the office?

Y's Owl Maclure Co-Operative Center, 1140 Morrison Drive, Ottawa, ON, K2H 8S9.

What is the phone number for the office?

613-230-6305 or toll-free 1-855-638-5649.


Who can I contact about events run by the Ottawa Chapter?

Rachel Marks Rachel@autismontario.com 613-295-9769 for English.


Who can I contact to volunteer with the Ottawa Chapter?

Email Shane Cunningham at shane@autismontario.com.

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