Ontario Autism Program Funding
The province of Ontario provides funding to families of children diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Recently, the Ontario Autism Program (OAP) has changed many times. To learn more, read Ontario Autism Program: a short history or Ontario Autism Program Announcement…?
Who can get the OAP funding?
To access the funding your child must:
- have a diagnosis of autism (given by a qualified professional)
- be under the age of 18 years old
- live in Ontario.
Meanwhile, the current program is changing from a childhood budget model to a needs-based therapy model. Don’t worry, you do not have to register again for the OAP if you have registered before.
In February 2021, the Province announced a Pilot Program that would bring 600 children into the new needs-based funding model. Families would be contacted and invited to participate. The details weren’t clear but the process would be similar to this:
- The child would be invited to participate and if the family accepted they would be enrolled.
- A Care Coordinator would meet with the family and the child to determine the child’s level of need. They would complete a ‘standardized assessment tool’ and set a number of hours of therapy that the child would receive.
- The family would be given the funds and would be able to purchase therapy for their child at the prescribed intensity.
No further details have been released.
As the program continues to change, autistic kids fall into 4 categories:
- Behaviour Plan Budget (Legacy funding)
- Childhood Budget
- Interim One-Time Funding.
Families who are not invited to participate would be able to continue their current funding for another round (if they were receiving Legacy funding, their budgets would be renewed, if they had Interim One-Time funding or childhood budgets they would be given a second funding instalment).
Side by Side Therapy can help guide you through the uncertainty that comes with changes in funding. Also, we work with you to make the most of your child’s funding.
What can be purchased with Ontario Autism Program funding?
OAP funding can purchase: ABA services, Speech Therapy, Occupational Therapy and respite services. Side by Side Therapy offers all of these services. OAP Interim One-Time funding can be used to purchase materials and equipment that will benefit your child’s learning. In addition, families are able to purchase a desktop computer, a laptop computer, a tablet/iPad or a smartphone to help their child.
Also, in an effort to help families, Autism Ontario is creating an approved OAP service provider list. Side by Side Therapy BCBAs are on the approved provider list.
Schedule a no-charge consultation with Side by Side Therapy. Let’s discuss what services are best for your child using your child’s Ontario Autism Program budget.