Spirale is an online registry where regulated professionals and experienced autism workers self-list so parents may find providers for their child with autism.
* Please note: As this site develops and gains registrants, we will expand the listings to include other regulated professions.
1. What are Regulated Professionals?
In Canada, a number of professions are regulated to protect public health and safety. In receiving regulation, all regulated professionals must provide safe and ethical services to their clients and or patients. These professionals must have a licence to work, and each are each overseen by a provincial self-regulatory body.
In most cases, these regulatory bodies are called “colleges”, such as the College of Dietitians of Ontario and the College of Early Childhood Educators. Each college has been given legislative authority and responsibility to regulate its profession for the public interest.
By law, each of these regulatory bodies sets the qualifications and requirements for those who wish to be registered in their particular profession. All licensed or “regulated” members are required to practice in accordance with a set of laws, regulations and by-laws.
Every College maintains a public register of its members, so that at any time a public member, employer or parent can look up a person to confirm he or she is registered with the College. And, if that member has a term, condition or limitation placed on his or her certificate of registration, that information is available on the public register. Registrants that do not have any conditions are said to be practicing in “good standing”.
In the event that the competence or professional conduct of a member of the College is called into question, the College has a fair legal process by which it investigates the complaint and, if necessary, refers the matter for a discipline hearing. Following are links to the regulatory colleges for regulated professionals listed on Spirale:
Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Services Workers
College of Psychologists of Ontario
College of Physiotherapists of Ontario
College of Optometrists of Ontario
College of Occupational Therapists of Ontario
College of Massage Therapists of Ontario
College of Dietitians of Ontario
College of Dental Hygienists of Ontario
Royal College of Dental Surgeons of Ontario
College of Early Childhood Educators
College of Audiologists and Speech-Language Pathologists of Ontario
Note: Naturopaths and Homeopaths will be included on Spirale when their full regulatory college is established. Click here for more information.
2. What is an experienced autism worker?
Many experienced and qualified people work with and support individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders. Some of these providers are regulated professionals who are overseen by a regulating body (link to Regulated health Professionals) while others are not.
Experienced autism workers are not overseen by a regulatory body. His/her roles are varied, and can range from things like: respite worker, socials skills coach, behavior therapist, life coach, psychotherapist, support worker, job coach, and many more. They may be working independently, within a business group and with or without supervision or support from other colleagues or other EAWs.
Although an EAW is not regulated by a regulatory body, the expectation to provide high quality, ethical and safe service is still the same. By and large, EAWs may be highly competent providers whose goal it is to positively impact the lives of children with ASD and their families. However, the lack of oversight by a governing body places the onus on parents and caregivers to be diligent in following through with appropriate background checks and reference checks and to be aware of the service their child is receiving.
Ensure you have a signed contract with your EAW prior to the commencement of service (link to appropriate pages).