Our Stories

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.



Who is Moton Hopkins III? Moton Hopkins III is a man who wears many hats.


Moton is a retired football player, now coach, with the Ottawa Redblacks.


Moton is the older brother of Matthew, a young, non-verbal adult with autism.


Moton is the man who created Mo’s Football Camp; a camp where children on the autism spectrum can sharpen their football skills.

Moton is the man who brought a group of professional football players and children on the autism spectrum together to play football and have fun!


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. Their staff and volunteers give every day.


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.


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.


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


My daughter Grace is beautiful; a talented artist; is brilliant at puzzles; is helpful around our home; and has a very affectionate, sweet nature. Grace represents autism at some of its extremes.Grace experiences enormous sensory sensitivities. She has gone through stretches without any sleep, meaning that the rest of us could never be sure of getting much sleep either, and with her limited language skills it is hard to understand her needs. This left us feeling exhausted, isolated and alone.

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!

Marg Spoelstra




Margaret Spoelstra
Executive Director, Autism Ontario