Toronto, Ontario, April 2, 2019
Ontario Government Announces Inter-ministerial Approach to Supporting Children and Youth with Autism and Their Families
Today’s announcement means families, Autistic self-advocates, clinicians and other professionals will have many different opportunities to play a larger role in shaping the Ontario Autism Program
This announcement made by the Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services, in partnership with the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Education represents many important steps towards acceptance and opportunities for people on the autism spectrum in Ontario.
In the next few months, the Ontario Government will undertake public consultations through surveys and tele-town halls to help inform how best to support children and youth with autism and their families. As a way of supporting and advancing this process, an advisory panel made up of key stakeholders is to be established. This type of consultation and feedback process requires procedural transparency, and the autism community would benefit from hearing the outcome of the community input gathered.
We are encouraged to see a positive shift in the approach the Ontario government is taking at various levels - the inclusion of diverse professional voices and those of adults with lived experience, the commitment to working across key ministries and what we hope will be a movement towards non-siloed approaches to autism supports across the lifespan.
The recognition of the importance of a responsive, person-oriented approach is perhaps the most encouraging component of today's message. The wide-range of expression of Autism Spectrum Disorder that changes over time demands nothing less than incorporating this thinking into comprehensive, focused, and timely supports, not only for autistic people, but also for their caregivers.
Autism Ontario is pleased to contribute to supporting the development of a province-wide survey and in continuing its work with families in navigating service systems. To access our family supports or to connect with a Service Navigator as announced by the Ministry today, please visit autismontario.com to learn more about our program and services.
About Autism Ontario: Autism Ontario has a 46 year history of representing thousands of families and people with ASD across Ontario. We are the only organization in Ontario that has formal parent representation in all areas of the province through our 25 Chapters. We advocate on behalf of all people with ASD and their families – at all ages and stages of life, reflecting a wide range of expression and abilities. To connect with us, visit www.autismontario.com
Vision: Acceptance and Opportunities for all people with Autism Spectrum Disorder.
Mission: To ensure that each individual with ASD is provided the means to achieve quality of life as a respected member of society.
New to Autism? Find help for navigating the system after a diagnosis, school issues, and other ASD information; please contact your local Family Support Coordinator here.
Jeff Bomben, Communications Coordinator 416-246-9592 ext. 232
jeff at autismontario dot com