October 30, 2019 - Children’s Mental Health Ontario (CMHO) and Empowered Kids Ontario-Enfants Avenir Ontario (EKO-EAO) would like to acknowledge the hard work of the Ontario Autism Advisory Panel and their recommendations to better address the needs of children with autism and their families.

Thousands of families receive autism services in Ontario through public providers. In some parts of Ontario, our member organizations are the only resources available to families.

Today’s report is progress. The Ontario Autism Advisory Panel has given us a solid foundation. We are encouraged by their recommendations.  We all share the same goal: ensuring kids and families receive needs-based, high-calibre and trusted services.

We congratulate the Advisory Panel for looking at the broader needs of children and their families and for emphasizing the importance of integrated responses that leverage other parts of the child and youth system in Ontario.

We also want to acknowledge the Ontario government for its role in responding to the call from families and service providers to re-build and strengthen the Ontario Autism Program through its appointment of the Ontario Autism Advisory Panel.

Capacity for the provision of autism services has eroded in every region of the province. Families and our service providers have been dealing with uncertainty for some time. We look forward to working with the Government of Ontario to ensure the stability and sustainability of public providers so that we are here for the families who need us as we thoughtfully transition to a new and revitalized Ontario Autism Program.