Changing Lives Together
The Ministry of Child and Youth Services (MCYS) has a established and newly transformed funding program known as the Ontario Autism Program. There are many aspects of the new program that are still in the draft stage, so we’re in continual contact with the MCYS to ensure that we are always fully informed of the new guidelines.
Click here to access their page, which has links for ABA funding information, respite funding, summer camp funding, and transition support funding.
Funding through the Ontario Autism Program is also accessible following diagnosis by calling intake at Kinark Child and Family Services at 1-888-454-6275, or by visiting their website to learn more.
Funding through the Assistance for Children with Severe Disabilities (ACSD) Program is accessible by making an application for your family. Information on how to fill in the application is found by clicking here.
Often small community clubs will offer small grants to families for therapeutic treatment or therapeutic summer camp programs. Lions Club and Shriners Clubs are good places to start, as well as 100 Men with Hearts and 100 Women with Hearts program groups. Your local town may also have special funding programs to support your child in attending summer camp or recreational programs with additional support.
There are many ways to raise funds on your own while you wait for ministry funds (for children with Autism) or to top up support you receive from government programs such as Special Services at Home. It is often hard for extended families to step in assist with the care of your child with special needs, but many families raise funds for their child’s therapy by asking family and friends to donate to a therapy bank account for birthday and holiday gifts. For our children, the impact of an hour of therapy goes a lot further than any toy or game. If they are committed to purchasing a gift, speak with your therapy team for ideas on toys, games, or equipment that will foster skill development in the needed areas for your child (or check out our suggestions here.)
Sometimes families get together and organize a group fundraising event using a ‘Friends and Family’ approach. Each family asks a group of 10-12 people to attend a fundraising evening and all proceeds are shared across all participating families. There are ways to keep the costs of these events low, including holding the event in local community spaces, having each family contribute to food and beverage costs, or looking for a restaurant to help sponsor those items. These often turn into wonderful social events for families who have lots in common — like children who require some extra program support to reach their potential! If you are interested in working on a volunteer committee to hold such an event, please contact our office and we can assist in reaching out to other families in our organization.
There are also additional community resources to help you set up a GoFundMe account or host a fundraiser. Call our office and speak to our Director of Clinical Services to learn more.