Province wants parental input on further changes to autism services

Online and phone consultations in May

The Ford Government now says it will consult with parents of children of autism regarding changes to autism support programs.

“Nobody should underestimate the challenges that families of children with autism face. As a government we want to be there for them,” said Lisa MacLeod, Minister of Children, Community and Social Services. “We have been listening to families and have heard the concerns they want addressed. We want to address them too by providing additional sources of support.”

Related: Local Families “Devastated” By PC Government’s Changes To Autism Funding

The consultations will be conducted online and through telephone town hall sessions during the month of May.

In addition, a new advisory panel will be made up of parents with lived experience, autistic adults and experts from a range of disciplines like psychology, behavioural analysis, rehabilitation services, education, developmental pediatrics and research. The panel will review the results of the survey and telephone town halls and offer advice this summer on a new needs assessment process as well as an approach to provide support through Childhood Budgets, one that is responsive to children’s abilities and needs to improve their long-term outcomes.

The government expects to announce further supports in the fall, that will build on previously announced reforms for autism services, including in the classroom.