Overview

Core clinical services are one of five streams of needs-based supports for children and youth registered in the Ontario Autism Program. Based on your child's individual needs, these OAP core clinical services can include:

  • applied behaviour analysis
  • speech-language pathology
  • occupational therapy
  • mental health services, including counselling and/or psychotherapy
  • technology, program materials and/or therapy equipment at the recommendation of a regulated professional or Board Certified Behaviour Analyst (BCBA)

Children and youth will be invited to enter core clinical services in the order that they registered for the Ontario Autism Program. Once you accept your invitation, an AccessOAP care coordinator will guide you through steps to access core clinical services.

AccessOAP, the OAP’s Independent Intake Organization, is responsible for inviting children and youth to enter core clinical services.

AccessOAP also:

  • issues funding to families and individuals to purchase core clinical services
  • offers service navigation and family support
  • checks expenses that families and individuals submit against funding they’ve received

If you haven’t yet received an invitation from AccessOAP to enter core clinical services, you may be eligible for other streams of OAP needs-based supports, including:

When children and youth will enter core clinical services

Children and youth will be invited to enter core clinical services in the order that they registered for the Ontario Autism Program. This was recommended by the Ontario Autism Advisory Panel. By fall 2022, 8,000 children and youth will enter core clinical services.

If your child has an existing behaviour plan you will have the option to either:

  • enter core clinical services in the order that you registered in the Ontario Autism Program
  • extend your existing behaviour plan until spring 2023, at which time you and others with behaviour plans will begin to transition

AccessOAP, the OAP’s Independent Intake Organization, is responsible for inviting children and youth to enter core clinical services.

You must create an account with AccessOAP before you can receive an invitation to core clinical services. In April 2022, we started sending families and youth registered in the OAP an email or letter, depending on their communication preferences, that includes instructions on how to:

  • create an account with AccessOAP
  • give consent for the ministry to transfer a child/youth’s OAP record to AccessOAP

Families and youth will receive their instructions in the order that they registered for the OAP. In the meantime, if you have questions or need more information, please use the latest contacts for the OAP.

Steps to access core clinical services

After you accept your invitation to enter core clinical services, an AccessOAP care coordinator will guide you through four steps to access core clinical services.

Step 1: complete the determination of needs process

A care coordinator will guide you through a determination of needs process that includes:

  • meeting with your family to identify your child’s goals, strengths and support needs
  • allocating funding to purchase core clinical services
  • supporting your family with next steps to access the core clinical services of your choice

This process is separate from the clinical assessment that would be completed by a clinician as a first step of treatment planning for core clinical services. You should work directly with your chosen clinician(s) to develop treatment options and a plan for your child.

What to expect

A care coordinator will ask you questions, using a standardized tool, to understand your child’s goals, strengths and support needs across ten domains, including:

  • communication – how individuals communicate and understand others to successfully participate in activities of daily life
  • social interaction – how individuals participate in social situations, shared activities and interactions with others (groups, peers, new settings)
  • play and leisure – how individuals engage in play and recreation, independently and with others
  • activities of daily living – how individuals complete daily tasks, such as getting dressed and eating
  • motor skills – how individuals participate in activities that involve using fine motor skills, gross motor skills, and coordinating their movements such as writing and walking
  • cognitive skills – how individuals follow instructions, concentrate and solve problems
  • sensory system – how individuals manage reactions to stimuli
  • interfering behaviours – how individuals manage behaviours that may impact their ability to participate safely in activities of daily life
  • mental health – how individuals manage needs that impact their daily functioning and capacity to access or engage in services
  • adaptability and resilience – how individuals manage needs related to being flexible and resilient in daily life

In addition to the ten domains, care coordinators consider other factors, such as developmental stages, life stages, and co-existing health and environmental factors.

Your family will complete the process at least once per year

A care coordinator will complete the determination of needs process with your family at least once each year. This will help ensure the funding you receive reflects your child’s changing support needs.

Background on the determination of needs process

As recommended by the Autism Advisory Panel, the determination of needs process was developed based on the advice and clinical expertise of the implementation working group as well as current research.

We will evaluate the determination of needs process on an ongoing basis to make sure it is responsive to the needs of children and youth on the autism spectrum.

Step 2: Find out your child’s level of support needs and approved funding amount for core clinical services for the year

Based on the results of the determination of needs process, care coordinators will identify if your child’s intensity of support needs are:

  • limited
  • moderate
  • extensive

The amount of funding that your family can use to purchase OAP core clinical services each year depends on:

  • the intensity of your child’s support needs
  • your child’s age
Up to 3 years old
Intensity of support needsYearly funding allocation
Limited/moderate$10,900
Extensive$65,000

 

From 4 to 9 years old
Intensity of support needsYearly funding allocation
Limited$8,900
Moderate$24,500
Moderate+$36,800
Extensive$65,000

 

From 10 to 14 years old
Intensity of support needsYearly funding allocation
Limited$7,600
Moderate$18,800
Extensive$41,400

 

From 15 to 17 years old
Intensity of support needsYearly funding allocation
Limited$6,600
Moderate$18,300
Extensive$31,900

How and when you will get your funding

If you are eligible to receive less than $25,000 in one year, you will:

  • receive your funding in a single payment after you complete the determination of needs process
  • need to submit an expense form and any required documentation (such as an attestation form or a letter of recommendation) to account for your spending

If you are eligible to receive more than $25,000 in one year, you will:

  • receive your funding in installments, up to a maximum of $25,000 per installment
  • receive your first installment after you complete the determination of needs process
  • need to submit an expense form and any required documentation to account for your expenses before you can receive future installments

Background on funding allocation

We developed these funding allocations based on the advice of clinical experts from the implementation working group, published research and provincial data. The allocations reflect the estimated amount of service that a child with a defined level of support need might access.

Step 3: Develop treatment options and spend your funding

After you receive your funding allocation for OAP core clinical services, you will work directly with a clinician of your choice to develop treatment options and plan for your child.

You will have 12 months from your funding start date to spend your OAP funding allocation on eligible core clinical services.

Read our guidelines for core clinical services and supports to learn more about qualified service providers, eligible expenses and ineligible expenses.

Step 4: Submit your expense form

As part of getting an OAP funding allocation for core clinical services, you must submit:

The expense form reports, categorizes and summarizes how you spent the funding so we can reconcile it.

You must report your expenses before you can receive your next payment. This requirement applies whether you receive a single payment or multiple payment installments in one year.

Use the version of the core clinical services expense form that’s right for you:

  1. Downloadable PDF version allows you to save a copy of the form on your device so that you can take as much time as you need to fill out the form or track your expenses as you spend your funding. This requires Adobe Acrobat Reader version 10 or above.
  2. Online/HTML version works well if you can complete the form in a single sitting, as you cannot save a copy of an online form. We recommend using any web browser other than Internet Explorer.

You must keep all original records of your expenses, such as receipts and invoices, as well as any supporting proof of payment, including debit, credit card or PayPal statements, for seven years from the date shown on the invoice or receipt. If we audit you, we might request these documents.

Submitting a letter of recommendation with your expense form

To claim expenses for technology, program materials and/or therapy equipment on your core clinical services expense form, you must submit the invoice for these expenses with a letter of recommendation from your service provider.

The core clinical services providers who are delivering or overseeing your child’s services write the letter of recommendation. Your provider must be a regulated professional or Board Certified Behaviour Analyst (BCBA).

By providing a letter of recommendation, providers accept responsibility for directly supporting or supervising your child’s treatment plan to make sure the goals and outcomes are achieved by using the recommended equipment and items.

A regulated professional is a member in good standing of one of the following colleges:

The letter of recommendation must include information about:

  • Your child:
    • full name
    • OAP registration number
    • date of birth
  • The recommending professional:
    • full name
    • employer or company name
    • address and contact information
    • professional designation (such as, Board Certified Behaviour Analyst, Speech-Language Pathologist, Occupational Therapist, Psychologist, Psychological associate, Psychotherapist, Nurse, Physician or Social Worker)
    • OAP core clinical service category (such as, applied behaviour analysis, speech-language pathology, occupational therapy, mental health – counselling and/or psychotherapy)
    • certificate or licence number
    • signature
  • Each recommended technology, program material and/or equipment:
    • date of recommendation
    • item(s) name
    • item(s) type (technology, program material or equipment)
    • how the item will support the goal(s) identified in the child or youth’s treatment plan

Learn more about required documentation

To learn more about documentation that you may need to submit with your expense form, please read about eligible expenses in our guidelines for core clinical services and supports. The “technology purchase” and “program materials and/or therapy equipment” sections include more details.

Who to contact

If you have questions about core clinical services, you can contact a care coordinator or the latest contacts for the OAP.