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AboutKidsHealth: Resources for ASD
The eighth annual World Autism Awareness Day was on April 2, 2016. Each year, the day is celebrated by organizations worldwide in an effort to continue to raise awareness and funds to support individuals with autism spectrum disorders (ASD). At Boomerang Health, we work with a wide range of children with ASD on goal areas including social communication, fine and gross motor skills, and sensory processing.
In a recent blog post, courtesy of AboutKidsHealth, on “Developing an ASD Program for your Child”, information was provided on the important components of a comprehensive Autism program for your child. Once the needs of your child are identified, the next step is to locate relevant resources and services to support these needs. AboutKidsHealth has composed an article on resources for ASD as well as an ASD Resources Checklist (see link below). Feel free to contact us at Boomerang Health to let us know how we can help you and your child and if you have any questions about these resources.
This section details a list of resources. They will be important to consider as a first step in putting supports in place for your child and family. Some of the resources listed may not apply to your situation because children with ASD can vary greatly in terms of their special needs. Over time, you will create your own list based on your child’s specific needs and the area where you live.
ASD Resources Checklist:
The resources are grouped into the following categories:
- Financial support
- Multi-service agencies
- Behavioural resources
- Communication resources (speech and language services)
- Sensory and motor services
- Social and recreation services
- Family support and respite services
- School services
- Research opportunities
Some agencies offer services from more than one of these categories. When calling an agency, remember to ask about all the services offered. For example, an agency that has parent support groups may also offer behavioural support. When you call an agency, make sure that you find out about all their services.
Many of these agencies have long waiting lists for service. Do not be discouraged.
Put your name on all the lists. Call the agencies regularly to find out where you are on their waiting list. Write down all your calls in case you need this information later. A form is provided on the Phone Contact Record page that you can use to record your telephone calls.
Remember, while you are waiting for services, you can start learning about ASD. This can help you begin to work with your child on your own. To feel more able to do this you can:
- Read about ASD.
- Talk to other parents in person or online.
- Use some of the suggestions that you read about.
When you understand a little more and trust yourself, you will find that there is a lot that you can do to help support your child.
Finding local resources
As you may notice, many of the resources listed are in Toronto. If you live outside Toronto and do not know where to find similar resources, we suggest you call the agencies listed here. Ask them where you can find similar services in your area.
Please note that when looking for services and resources in the greater Toronto area, you can always use the “211 Directory.” This resource, available by telephone and online, can help you find many programs you might be looking for such as child care, counselling, and health and legal services.
You can call the Community Helpline at 416-397-4636 anytime; 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Within Toronto, you can simply dial 211 on your phone.
You can also visit their web site at www.211toronto.ca to search for services yourself. These services are available in various languages. For regions outside of Toronto, including Halton Region, Niagara Region, Simcoe County, Thunder Bay, and Windsor-Essex, you can visit www.211.ca.
Another Toronto-based resource is the “Community Resource Directory for Children and Adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) and their Families in Toronto,” which is a book compiled by the School Support Program at Surrey Place Centre.
This community resource directory can be downloaded at www.surreyplace.on.ca.
Another document you may find useful is entitled the “First 100 Days Kit” created by Autism Speaks. This is a tool kit to assist families in getting the critical information they need in the first 100 days following an ASD diagnosis.
This resource kit can be downloaded at www.autismspeaks.ca.
Authors: Janice Mulligan, Radha MacCulloch, Wendy Roberts, & Lee Steel
Original publish date: March 9, 2009