Children and Youth

Ontario Autism Program

Autism services are changing – Hands wants to hear from you

At Hands, we recognize that under the government’s new approach to Autism Services, families are being asked to direct their child’s autism services and funding. This represents a significant change to services and we are working through how to best support families in this new model.

Hands has been providing behavioural services for more than 18 years. We’re still here; we understand that you have questions, worries, needs and wants relating to your child’s services and development.

We want to better understand from you directly, what you are experiencing and what you anticipate your child’s needs will be in the future. Your feedback will inform how we can best meet the needs of your family and others moving forward, while providing the right services at the right time.

We would welcome the opportunity to connect with you.

If you are interested, please call at 1.800.668.8555 ext. 1333 or email us at [email protected]. We will meet with you in-person or by video and chat about your questions and worries, and the types of supports you will need to help you and your family.

Ontario Autism Program

On February 6, 2019, the Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services announced significant changes to service for children diagnosed with Autism in Ontario. As we work to understand and implement these changes, our priority is to ensure our families feel fully supported. Hands is committed to helping families and our communities as partners in providing the best services possible.

Further information regarding these changes can be found on the Ministry’s website:


Ontario Autism Program

The Ontario Autism Program (OAP): ensures autism services for children and youth are delivered consistently across the province; allows for flexibility and choice based on each child’s needs; and, gives families confidence in receiving quality services.

The key components of the new program include:

  • A single point of access. There is one entry point to the OAP to make it easier for families to access services for their child.
  • Family-centered decision making. As key partners in their child’s care, families are actively engaged in the assessment, goal-setting and intervention planning process for their child.
  • Collaborative approach to service. A foundation of the new OAP is the collaborative approach taken by community support service providers, clinicians and educators to support children’s needs at home, during service and in school.
  • Service based on need. Services are flexible and individualized. The intensity and duration of the services a child or youth receive are based on their needs and strengths, regardless of age. Each child’s service plan will be determined by clinical assessment.
  • A direct funding option. A new direct funding option will be implemented by the end of this year (2017). This will provide all families with a choice between receiving direct service or receiving funding to purchase their child’s service.
  • Safe, effective autism services. The province intends to regulate ABA practitioners to help ensure families receive safe, high-quality services, have confidence in their providers and know where to go if they have a concern.

For more information, please visit the Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services website.

Reach the Right Door Every Time

Hands (Hands) and One Kids Place Children’s Treatment Centre (One Kids Place) provide autism services for children and youth across North Eastern Ontario. Hands and One Kids Place are strong community partners, committed to working towards providing more integrated autism services for children, youth and families. Both organizations will continue to provide complementary services in the best interest of individuals and families in our communities.

Hands and One Kids Place are ensuring families reach the right door every time, regardless of which organization receives the call, through improved information sharing. One call to either organization will give families across North Eastern Ontario access to one waitlist and a simple, integrated service experience, as part of the first phase of the Ontario Autism Program.

Call HandsCall One Kids Place

Families will experience:
• the right door every time
• one waitlist for Autism in North Eastern Ontario

Access referral forms for the North East Ontario Autism Program on our Resources page.

Foundational Services, Family Services and Training

As a regional provider, Hands and One Kids Place offer a variety of core foundational services, family services and training as well as a broad continuum of behavioural services.  These supports will build and strengthen the capacity of the individual child/youth, their family and those supporting them to teach new skills, reduce challenging behaviour, and foster independence in the meaningful areas of their lives.

The following foundational services are currently available for families in the North East Region Ontario Autism Program (NEOAP).   When a new family enters the NEOAP they will receive a contact from their family support team member within the first six weeks of referral. They will either mail out or hand deliver a binder with autism information as well as resources found within their area. The family support team member will also connect with families about upcoming training in their area.

Training and Workshops

Training and information sessions will be offered to families through their family support worker and will provide the family with a list of the upcoming training in their area or offer options to participate online. If a family cannot attend, they will receive the information in web format and/or paper copy from their family support worker.

Child and Youth Workshops – North Bay – March to April, 2019

Current Foundational Training Sessions:

Find out more about Core Training, Workshops and Information Sessions.

OAP Clinical Review Process

The new Independent Clinical Review (ICR) process for the Ontario Autism Program (OAP) is now available.

The ICR offers families and their children the opportunity to have key components of their OAP Behaviour Plan reviewed by a team of independent Clinical Reviewers.

For more information on the ICR, please visit or

Resources for Independent Clinical Review (ICR).

Community Partnerships


For early signs of Autism, tip sheets, helpful links and additional information to support families, please visit our Resources page.

For more information on the Ontario Autism Program in North Eastern Ontario please contact us: