Following months of work, the Autism Advisory Panel has presented its report to the Ontario Government, with a number of key recommendations to improve service and address parents’ concerns.
The 64-page report is available here, while one of the key takeaways is that the panel agrees that evidence-based clinically appropriate care should not be sacrificed at the expense of addressing the waitlist more quickly. However, it does suggest that to ensure as many children as possible are served by the program, annual caps on the amount of individual service received would be unavoidable.
The Panel suggests in the report that a new committee be struck to implement the changes. The committee would be made up of parents, autism self-advocates, researchers, clinical experts, and community partners. The report also recommends detailed, family-friendly transition plans be developed to help families understand what the changes will mean to them.
“The Panel believes its recommendations for a new Ontario Autism Program should be cause for hope for children and youth on the autism spectrum and their families”Ontario Autism Advisory Panel Report – October 30, 2019
Minister of Children, Community, and Social Services Todd Smith says he is still reviewing the report, “I am confident the panel’s recommendations will serve as a strong foundation for the new Ontario Autism Program. Implementation of the new program is planned for April 2020.”