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Response to the Ontario Autism Program (OAP)

Autism Speaks Canada (ASC) is a leading national organization dedicated to promoting solutions, across the spectrum and throughout the life span, for the needs of individuals with autism and their families.  We do this by supporting and working with community partners; enhancing resources and services; increasing understanding, acceptance and inclusion of people with autism spectrum disorder; and advancing research into causes and better interventions for autism spectrum disorder.

Autism is a lifelong neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by deficits in social communication and interaction; and restrictive patterns of behaviour.  The expression and intensity of these core features vary greatly between individuals.  As such, there is no single treatment for autism — rather, the recommended types, intensity and duration of treatments are highly individualized.

Following the Ontario Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services’ announcement regarding the new Ontario Autism Program (OAP), Autism Speaks Canada strongly encourages that the province revise the program and consider the following key principles:

  • Service provision is equitable based on individualized assessments of clinical need and sufficient across the spectrum and throughout the life span
  • A focus on evidence-based interventions provided by appropriately trained and credentialed providers
  • Program development includes inter-ministerial accountability including health, social services, community, education, etc.

Autism Speaks Canada will continue to work with autism stakeholders and governments to support timely, comprehensive, and appropriate services and supports for individuals with autism and families.  Families needing more information on the OAP can visit the Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services website.

Jill Farber
Executive Director
Autism Speaks Canada