Children and Youth

Ontario Autism Program

Changes to the Ontario Autism Program

Hands (Hands) is committed to helping families and our communities as partners in providing the best services possible. 

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.

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

Together We’re Better

Hands has been providing behavioural services in Northeastern Ontario for more than 18 years. We recognize that every child, youth and family has specific needs and wants. We also understand the unique challenges facing families in Northern Ontario. Building on families strengths combined with our expertise, has resulted in many success stories for the clients we serve. We want to continue to be a part of your journey.

Our approach to service allows us the flexibility to meet you where you need us. With office locations across the Northeast Region, we are able to help families both in-person and by using technology to reach those in rural and remote communities. As innovators of videoconferencing in the delivery of health services to rural locations, we are proud to continue offering virtual supports from the convenience of a home, community or school environment.

Hands recognizes the value of providing services to families that are respectful of their culture, values and beliefs, including language, and community involvement.

Our Team

Hands’s team of professionals is dedicated to providing evidence-based behavioural services for children and youth, with additional supports for families and other caregivers.

We are proud to have 10 team members with Board Certified Behaviour Analyst (BCBA) or Board Certified Assistant Behaviour Analyst (BCaBA) certification.  Our team is led by a registered Clinical Psychologist and includes Behaviour Therapists and Registered Behaviour Technicians, who engage in extensive training in Applied Behaviour Analysis.

Our team members are experts in: child and adolescent development; skill development and behaviour change; and, service navigation. We have strong relationships with our community partners and will work together to build the best supports for your family.

Autism Service Offerings

Hands continues to engage with families as we design Autism Services to respond to the needs and areas of pressure for you and your family. We will continue to build our long-term service offerings and will update our website as they become available.

To help support families through this time of transition, Hands is offering the following complimentary services throughout the months of April and May. Tailored to meet the unique needs of your child, youth and family, individualized direct behavioral intervention remains a core service offering of our program.

Hands’ Autism Services are available to all children, youth and families with an Autism diagnosis.

Register for services, speak with Hands about your individual needs, or keep informed of available services.

Complimentary Services

Sign-up for a free one-on-one consultation!

Hands’ Autism Walk-In Consultations are available every Tuesday throughout the months of April and May from 11:00 am to 7:00 pm (last session at 5:30 pm). We can help by:

  • Answering your questions
  • Addressing any concerns you may have
  • Providing family supports and resources

Our Autism Walk-In Consultations can be accessed virtually from anywhere in Northern Ontario. Learn more about Hands’ Virtual Autism Walk-In Consultations.

Attend a free workshop at one of Hands’ locations or receive a link to participate from home or another convenient location.

Building Communication
In this workshop, families will identify ways that their child or youth communicates and discuss experiences as related to their communication. Families will identify a communication goal, and based on their child or youth’s preferred activities they will learn to build motivation and encourage communication and engagement. Steps to earning instructional control will be reviewed.

Introduction to Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA)
Families will be provided an overview of the science of Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA). Families will learn how to effectively teach or strengthen skills by developing behavioural goals specific to their own child or youth using the principles of ABA.  Families will learn how to use these skills in various environments, and with different people.

Transition to School and School Advocacy
Families will learn about common educational transitions for their child or youth.  Families will learn about special education options, the IPRC process, the IEP process and PPM 140.  Strategies and tips for advocating for children and youth will be discussed.

Understanding your Child/Youth’s Challenging Behaviour 
Families will learn to understand their child or youth’s challenging behaviour by learning about why behaviour happens.  General preventative strategies will be discussed along with personal safety awareness.  A brief overview of the use of medication will be included.  Families will identify a specific behaviour to reduce, and will work through the steps in a workbook that corresponds with the presentation.

To register, contact:
Paula Hampton, Family Service Worker
1.800.668.8555 ext. 1333 • [email protected]

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

We're Here to Help

Are you currently receiving Autism Services or on the wait list for service?
Have you received Autism Services in the past?

Our priority is to ensure children, youth and families are fully supported throughout this time of transition. To receive more information about next steps and to understand how the recent changes impact your family, contact our Family Service Worker at 1-800-668-8555 ext. 1333. We want to continue to be part of your journey.

New to service?

If your child was recently diagnosed and you registered for the Ontario Autism Program before April 1, 2019, you do not have to register again.  Otherwise, contact the Ministry’s Central Intake and Registration Team at 1-888-444-4530 or [email protected] to register.

Hands’ team of experts is here to support your family. Contact us:

Meet a Few of our Experts


(BCaBA; 9 years’ experience)
“My work gives me the opportunity to spend time with children and see them develop into amazing little people”


(BCaBA; 12 years’ experience)
“A parent shared with me that their child spontaneously said ‘I love you mom’ for the first time.  These moments are the reason I do this work and why I love it so much.”


(BCBA; 7 years’ experience)
“It’s rewarding when a parent tells me that they are confident that their child will be successful, and that they have the tools and strategies to get there.”