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Autism Program at CHEO

On the heels of the Minister’s announcement about the new changes to the Ontario Autism Program, we will post regular updates here so that families in particular know what to expect – and how to contribute – as it relates to the redesign of the CHEO’s Autism Program.

February 6, 2019

In response to the news, our CEO provided the following statement about the investment in diagnostic hubs, “At CHEO, we’ve worked hard to cut the wait for an autism diagnosis from well over a year to 24 weeks. With today’s announcement, we will be able to further speed up diagnosis.” With respect to the announcement, Alex Munter said, “We look forward to working with Minister MacLeod, families and our staff to see how CHEO can be part of the new provincial autism strategy.”

February 7, 2019

CHEO leadership met with staff to indicate that our delivery model for offering behavioural interventions needs to change to fit within the government’s new parameters. We don’t have the answers about what this will look like, yet. We have been told by the government that 2019-2020 is a phase-in year although we do not yet have the details of what that means or how it will work. We have been advocating to the Ministry for high-quality, evidence-based autism services.

In-service families

CHEO staff are sharing the government’s FAQs (frequently asked questions) with families currently in service. More information is found here.

Operational planning for CHEO’s diagnostic hub

We are pleased to receive funding to expand the regional diagnostic hub for Eastern Ontario that we manage, which covers a large area from Oshawa to Hawkesbury. Based on direction from the Ministry, we are already working with our partners including Kids Inclusive (Kingston) Quinte Children’s Centre (Belleville), Five Counties (Peterborough) and Grandview Kids (Oshawa) to ramp-up diagnoses across the region. More details to follow.

Operational planning for autism behavioural intervention services and supports (2019-20 and 2020-21)

We have not begun detailed operational planning yet, as we are still awaiting more information and guidance from the Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services. We expect to meet soon with its Regional Office to understand what’s next for CHEO in particular.

February 13, 2019

CHEO leadership reached out to the Autism Family Advisory Committee to indicate that family consultations will be integral to help reshape our program in the current environment. We will share more information about opportunities to share public feedback about our programs, after we learn more information from the Ministry.

More updates to follow as information is available. Please bookmark this page for future reference.

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