OAP update — It’s much worse than you think

Slow launch of the new NEW program

Just a few days after I published the piece, Todd Smith cobbled together an “announcement” for the quasi launch of core services.

What’s wrong with the new program

There are a few critical issues that really hamper the potential of the new offering.

Screenshots of the possible funding allotments, taken from the Ontario Autism Program website

Even in it’s current form, it will take YEARS to become effective

The glacial pace of this government’s work on the program has created the longest waitist this province has ever seen.

  • They’re not eligible for a behaviour plan (the old program), Childhood Budget, or Interim One-Time Funding
  • There are ~47,000 other kids ahead of them on the waitlist to be brought into the new program before them
  • It’s taken the Ministry about 5 months to convince 431 families to agree to enter the new core services program
  • The Ministry is aiming to only get 8,000 more kids into the program before the end of the year, if they can even accomplish that

How the program SHOULD work

Here is a straightforward way for how the program could work better:

  1. In order to better understand the child’s need, the family should receive initial funding to pursue clinical assessments with professionals in any of the eligible fields the family feels could benefit their child (eg. separate assessments with an ABA provider, speech therapist, occupational therapist, etc).
  2. The individual assessors would provide a recommendation for treatment intensity for the respective types of therapy (eg. A child could be assessed to need 25h/week of ABA, 1 hour/week of speech, and 2h/month of OT)
  3. That info would go to the ministry to determine the funding amount the child would need to cover the recommended therapy (adjusted to meet appropriate service caps), with special consideration for when access to therapists is an issue (northern/rural communities, etc, where travel concerns may need to be accommodated)

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Patrick Monaghan

Patrick Monaghan

Dad to 2 kids on the spectrum. Autism Advocate.