About Autism Spectrum Disorder

Autism is a lifelong neurodevelopmental disorder that affects the way the brain works. While there is no cure for autism, people’s symptoms, abilities and experiences can improve over time with the help of evidence-based therapies and interventions.

Symptoms usually appear at an early age. People with autism may experience difficulties with:

  • social communication
  • social interaction
  • restricted or repetitive patterns of behaviours, interests or activities

People with autism will experience differences related to:

  • the number, type, and severity of symptoms
  • levels of functioning
  • age of first signs of autism
  • age of diagnosis
  • challenges associated with social situations

People with autism need different levels of support, depending on these factors.

Resources about diagnosis

About the Ontario Autism Program

The Ontario Autism Program offers support to all eligible families of children and youth on the autism spectrum. You can select the services and supports that are most important to you and your child.

If you have previously registered your child for the Ontario Autism Program or already submitted your registration form and supporting documents to the ministry, you do not need to register again.

News and program updates

Ontario Autism Program monthly numbers

53,469
Children registered in the Ontario Autism Program

10,959
Invitations issued for childhood budgets

33,311
Invitations issued for interim one-time funding

Note: Before April 1, 2019, Ontario’s nine regional service providers had been managing Ontario Autism Program (OAP) data on a regional basis. The ministry has centralized OAP data to more efficiently plan and administer the program. Data validation work, including reconciling duplicate client records, has resulted in adjusted counts for children registered in the OAP, invitations issued for childhood budgets and invitations issued for interim one-time funding.

Read updates about the Ontario Autism Program.

Contact information

Direct your questions and find more information about the Ontario Autism Program by contacting:

Central Resource Team

  • Register for the OAP
  • Ask about your situation if you’re registered with the OAP, but not yet connected with AccessOAP
  • Ask about childhood budgets and interim one-time funding

AccessOAP

  • Ask about how to create an account with AccessOAP
  • Ask general questions about the OAP
  • Ask about your situation if you have created an account with AccessOAP and given consent to the ministry to transfer your OAP record to AccessOAP

Autism Ontario

  • Find services
  • Get answers to your questions about Autism Spectrum Disorder

Developing and implementing a needs-based program

The autism advisory panel reviewed the information gathered during public consultations. The panel provided advice on developing a new needs-based program with the goal of helping as many children as possible. Read the Recommendations for a new needs-based Ontario Autism Program report.

The Ontario Autism Program implementation working group provided input on key design elements of the needs-based program, based on key recommendations in the advisory panel’s report. Read more about the working group’s mandate and members.

Stay informed on key milestones and learn about implementing the needs-based Ontario Autism Program.

Additional resources

Information for practitioners

Service providers must continue to use the service delivery tools and all associated processes to develop and deliver Ontario Autism Program behaviour plans.

Learn more about the selection process for Ontario Autism Program service providers.

Read about the capacity action plan.

Learn more about the special needs workforce survey and read the results.

Apply for a workforce capacity fund grant.

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