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Displaying 1 - 22 of 22
Displaying 1 - 22 of 22

Education Scholarships

Each year, Autism Ontario awards scholarships to outstanding students entering their first year of a post-secondary program throughout Ontario. We look forward to offering this opportunity again this year when we open up online applications in April 2021 . The Eleanor Ritchie Post-Secondary Education Scholarship is awarded to students on the autism spectrum. This award is named after Eleanor Ritchie, a long-standing member of Autism Ontario, in recognition of her dedication and support for individuals with ASD. The Jeanette Holden Post-Secondary Education Scholarship is for siblings of a

Autism Ontario's Education Position Statement

Our Educational Position Statements are designed to help parents resolve school issues, obtain needed educational supports or services and help promote a change in the practices, policies and/or behaviours in our educational system in a respectful, positive and effective way. What do you need to know as a parent? Advocacy is about securing, protecting and advancing the rights of one’s self or others. Students on the autism spectrum have rights. The Ministry of Education has enacted legislation and regulations to support the education of students with special needs. School boards are

Individual Education Plan (IEP)

What is an IEP? The Individual Education Plan (IEP) is an active, working document designed to help a student be successful. It includes the following information: The student’s strengths and needs; Special education programs and/or services a student requires; Annual Goals: what a student is expected to learn in a school year; Learning Expectations: what a student will learn in a reporting term; Accommodations: supports and services a student requires in order to learn at their current grade level; Modifications: changes made to the current grade level expectations in order to meet a student

Identification, Placement and Review Committee (IPRC)

As a parent of a child with additional needs, it will be important for you to understand the Identification, Placement and Review Committee (IPRC) process. What is an Identification, Placement and Review Committee (IPRC)? An IPRC is a committee that meets and decides if a student should be identified as exceptional (has additional needs) according to established Ministry of Education categories. If identified as exceptional, the committee decides which placement will best meet the student’s needs. As the name suggests, the IPRC includes distinct parts: Identification: Identifies students who


According to The Education Act, every board of education in Ontario is required to have a Special Education Advisory Committee (SEAC). This committee is made up of volunteer representatives from local associations that work to further the interests and well-being of one or more groups of exceptional children or adults. The SEAC representatives make recommendations to the boards of education about the establishment and development of special education programs and services for exceptional students — including students with ASD. Where Autism Ontario has a Chapter, we too have representation on

School Supports

What do you need to know as a parent? Students on the autism spectrum have rights. The Ontario Ministry of Education has enacted legislation and regulations to support the education of students with special needs. School boards are responsible for implementing programs in compliance with current legislation and regulations. Autism Ontario believes students with Autism Spectrum Disorder (where possible) and their parents must be actively engaged as full partners throughout the education process in order to optimize learning across home and school. This means that parents and students (where


Autism Ontario works to support autistic adults and their families reach their potential. Through positive advocacy work alongside autistic adults, professional community stakeholders and policy makers, Autism Ontario aims to collaboratively envision and help create responsive services and opportunities for autistic adults in Ontario. People connect with Adult Services at Autism Ontario seeking answers to questions about transitioning to adulthood, post-secondary education, accessing a diagnostic assessment as an adult, available funding, mental health and addictions services, housing,

Positive Advocacy Resources

Advocacy is about securing, protecting and advancing the rights of one’s self or others. People on the autism spectrum/autistic people have rights. Our system has enacted legislation and regulations to support the needs of children, youth and adults on the autism spectrum. All programs and services must be in compliance with current legislation and regulations. Parents and self-advocates, however, may have to strongly advocate to ensure that their rights or their child’s rights are met. Most effective advocates share a combination of important knowledge and skills: An understanding of

Autism Ontario Board Member Bios AGM 2020

Download full PDF. Retiring Board Members Janet Culliton, Past Chair Kennith Robertson, Treasurer Kim Seabrook, Member Nancy Marchese, Member Julia Frei, Member Continuing Board Members Susan Morris, President Kim Moore, Vice President David Moloney, Secretary Dr. Barry Bruce, Member Susan Boehnke, Member Tiziana Bontempo, Member New Nominees to the Board of Directors for Election 2020 Dr. Sharon Smile Developmental Paediatrician, Holland Bloorview Kids Rehab, Toronto, ON Dr. Sharon Smile is a Developmental Paediatrician at Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital and a Clinical Study

Provincially Speaking Survey Results 2018

Top 5 Priorities for Families and Self-Advocates in Ontario Nicole Bardikoff, Katherine Buchan, & Margaret Spoelstra of Autism Ontario, Toronto ON, and Stephen Gentles of McMaster University, Hamilton, ON Click here for a PDF version of the poster. Introduction Autism Ontario conducted an annual province-wide survey to gain a better understanding of the current needs and experiences of caregivers and autistic adults. In the past, Autism Ontario has relied on professional expertise to determine the most important, actionable items from the data. This year, in order to more accurately pinpoint

School Advocacy Toolkit

School issues continue to be the number one reason families connect with us for support. Autism Ontario, in partnership with Mahony Advocacy, developed Negotiating the Maze: Strategies for Effective Advocacy in Schools . This resource outlines how to advocate effectively and establish positive working relationships with your child’s school. It is filled with tips, templates, and links to important Ministry of Education information.

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


We’re so glad you want to join our team! Working at Autism Ontario means being part of a unique work culture that revolves around something we all believe in – ensuring individuals on the autism spectrum are provided with the means to achieve quality of life as a respected member of society. A career at Autism Ontario means supporting autistic individuals in building meaningful connections in their community through education, advocacy and awareness. Autism Ontario is an equal opportunity employer committed to maximizing the diversity of our organization, and actively encourages individuals on

Social Skills Development

Learning social skills is a lifelong journey for all of us, and especially for those with ASD. With the appropriate supports, education, and practice, people with ASD can develop the skills they want or need to navigate relationships, employment, and the world around us. A person’s social understanding might present differently depending on age, cognitive capacity, and ability to communicate. Many social skills programs in Ontario lack parent involvement and feedback. Results from our Caregiver Survey showed that less than half of the programs evaluated encouraged parents to monitor the


The UCLA Program for the Education and Enrichment of Relationship Skills (PEERS®) is a manualized, social skills training intervention for adolescents and young adults. This program has a strong evidence-base for use with teens and young adults with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) but may also be appropriate for teens and young adults with ADHD, Anxiety, Depression, Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder and other socio-emotional problems. It includes 14 consecutive weeks of training with both a teen/young adult and a parent component which occur simultaneously. PEERS is designed for motivated teens

Our Team

Provincial Office Autism Ontario’s Provincial Office is located in Toronto and is comprised of approximately 18 staff members, both full-time and part-time, who support the entire organization. Our Management Team Margaret Spoelstra - Executive Director Gayle Height - Finance Director Gary Martini-Wong - Chief Financial and Information Officer Christa Sawyer - Community Events & Resource Manager Jessica Bethel - Director, OAP Provider List Province Wide Staff Outside of our office in Toronto, Autism Ontario has Service Navigators who work regionally throughout the province. Service Navigators

York Region Golf Tournament

Dear Friend of Autism Ontario Kids (AOK) Camp, We hope you are enjoying the summer and that you and your family are staying safe during these challenging times. Since Ontario started to move through various ‘stages of opening’ in late spring, we have been in conversations regarding the viability of running our annual Charity Golf Classic. We ultimately decided the safety of our guests is more important than fundraising in this current environment. We are happy to report that the revenue generated through your generous support from last year’s tournament helped to fund a summer Camp@Home

About Autism

What is Autism? The clinical model defines Autism, or Autism Spectrum Disorder as a lifelong neurodevelopmental disorder that affects the way a person communicates and relates to people and the world around them. It can affect body language and posture, social interactions and relationships, how you engage with your interests, and sensory processing capacities. Autism exists in all cultures, ethnicities, races, and gender identities. While the Public Health Agency of Canada references the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM5) in classifying autism as a disorder, many