Research shows that early screening and timely intervention can improve a child’s overall development and future outcomes. Autism can reliably be diagnosed by age 2, but the average age of diagnosis in Canada is about 4.5 years old.1 Increasing early screening and lowering the age of diagnosis, especially in minority populations, is central to Autism Speaks Canada’s mission. We collaborate with leaders in the field to ensure sustainable and effective autism service delivery.
We launch grants each April to autism service providers to increase their capacity and to effectively serve the autism community in Canada. Grants are selected through a rigorous review process, through a community panel of autistic individuals, family members, friends, service providers and research experts across Canada. Since 2010, we have granted $5 million to over 300 organizations across Canada. Research shows when intervention begins at a young age, communication and social skills improve for many children. Approximately 14% of these grants help support our mission objective of increasing early childhood screening and timely interventions.
Free access to the M-CHAT (Modified Checklist for Autism in Toddlers™) screening test is available. This online autism screening test takes only a few minutes to complete and helps determine if a professional should evaluate your child. Over 10,000 people have used this screening tool from our website to date.
The World Health Organization Caregivers Skills Training – developed in collaboration with Autism Speaks – is a practical and culturally adaptable training program to foster the social and communication skills of children with autism and other developmental issues, with a special focus on families in underserved communities.
The program trains Master Trainers and Facilitators, who in turn train parents and other caregivers to use scientifically proven strategies for promoting child development, reducing disruptive behaviors and strengthening their own coping skills. In 2017, Caregiver Skills Training debuted in the United States, with a Master Trainer workshop to train specialists who will pilot the program. Based on the results and refinements of this and other pilot studies around the world, Autism Speaks Canada partnered with McGill University on the Caregiver Skills Training Program to empower parents and caregivers with evidence-based skills training in Quebec, British Columbia, Saskatchewan, and the Yukon for children with autism.
Learn about the amazing progress being made through programs as it relates to early childhood screening and interventions.
Mobile Developmental Outreach Clinic
Caregiver Skill Training Program
Family Services Community Grants