Resources for Children and Youth Services

General Information and Forms

Family Resources:

  • Muskoka Family Network – A network for families and friends touched by a disability to come together. It is all about connecting with other families.
  • Fem’aide – A provincial helpline for Francophone women dealing with violence.

Child and Youth Mental Health

Resources to support Child and Youth Mental Health:

  • Mental Health Crisis Line for Children and Youth – 1.844.287.9072 (Available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week across Muskoka, Nipissing and Parry Sound).
  • Kids Help Phone – 1.800.668.6868. (For children and youth between the ages of 5 and 20. Provides professional counseling and information and referrals for mental health, addictions and well-being. Phone and online via web post or live chat Open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Free, anonymous and confidential).
  • Good2Talk – 1.866.925.5454 (For people between the ages of 17-25; post-secondary students in Ontario. Provides professional counselling and information and referrals for mental health, addictions and well-being. Free, confidential and anonymous helpline. Open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week).
  • Ontario Distress Centres (All ages – A free telephone help-line for people experiencing emotional distress (including suicide). Provide listening and referral services primarily through highly trained volunteers. Most centres are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week).

Ontario Autism Program

Resources to support families through the Ontario Autism Program (OAP):

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

Hands’ Autism Walk-In Consultations are available every Tuesday during 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.

Tip sheets are brief summaries of information that can be provided to help families understand a variety of themes that are relevant to their child/youth’s development or Family Service Plan.

Tip sheets that are available for distribution are:

NOTE: Change to application deadline for Autism Enhanced Special Activities Funding. If you have not yet applied for Special Activities Funding this fiscal year, please do so before February 15, 2019. Applications received after this date, or people applying for the second time this year, will not be approved until April 1st, 2019. For more information, please contact Paula Hampton, Enhanced Respite Coordinator at 1-800-668-8555 ext. 1333 or by email at [email protected].

At Hands, we understand that parents and caregivers may worry if their toddler/preschooler has some form of developmental delay.

The following “red flags” may indicate your child is at risk for an autism spectrum disorder. If your child shows any of the following signs, please speak with Hands, your pediatrician or family doctor as soon as possible:

  • Not responding to sounds, voices, or name
  • Poor eye contact
  • No social smiling by 6 months
  • Unusual attachment to or use of toys/objects
  • Not showing items or sharing interests
  • No babbling, pointing, meaningful gestures by 12 months
  • Any loss of speech or social skills
  • No two-word phrases by 24 months
  • No use of single words by 16 months