Autism and Behavioural Services
Explore our resources, tip sheets, and links to other programs below
Early Signs of Autism
We understand that it can be scary if your toddler is showing signs of a developmental delay. Understanding what is going on is your best first step.
Read through the list of early signs of Autism below. If your child is showing any of the signs, please speak with us at Hands, or your 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
We have many tip sheets that can give you more information on topics to support your child’s development. Explore our tip sheets below to learn more.
We offer respite funding for those in crisis, as well as for group and individual activities. You can find our applications for respite funding below.
For more information, please contact Paula Hampton, Enhanced Respite Coordinator, at 1-800-668-8555 ext. 1334 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Find additional Autism-related resources here.
Child and Youth Mental Health
Explore general information on Child and Youth Mental Health, as well as topic-specific resources below.
General Information and Forms
- Welcome To Hands – Client and Family Package: Find information about our organization and how we work
- Client Statement of Rights: Understand your rights as a client of Hands
- Muskoka Family Network: A place to connect with other families who have been touched by a disability
- Fem’aide: A provincial helpline for Francophone women dealing with violence
- COPMI – Children of Parents with a Mental Illness: Promoting better outcomes for children and families where a parent experiences mental illness
Anxiety and Depression
- Anxiety and Depression Association of America:Learn about anxiety and depression disorders, read about types of therapy, or attend webinars about Anxiety and Depression
- Togetherall (formerly Big White Wall): A safe community to support your mental health, with peer-to-peer support and clinicians available for those who need it
- BounceBack: A free, skill-building program to help adults and youth (age 15+) manage low mood, mild to moderate depression and anxiety, stress, or worry
- Mental Health Crisis Line for Children and Youth: Call 1-844-287-9072 for 24/7 support in Muskoka, Nipissing, or Parry Sound
- Kids Help Phone: Professional 24/7 counselling for mental health, addictions, and well-being for people between 5 and 20 years. Free, anonymous and confidential.
Text: TALK to 686868 (English) or TEXTO to 686868 (French)
Live Chat counselling: www.kidshelpphone.ca
- Good2Talk.ca: Call 1-866-925-5454 for 24/7 professional counselling for mental health, addictions, and well-being. This service is available for post-secondary students in Ontario between the ages of 17 and 25, and is free, confidential, and anonymous
- Crisis Services Canada: Need help? Connect with a responder now by calling 1-833-456-4566 or texting 45645. You can also chat with a live agent at crisisservicescanada.ca
- Kids Help Phone: Find a youth program near you or read more on mental health and wellness related topics
- InfoAboutKids.org: Read science-based articles on child and family development
- Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario: This health centre provides support for eating disorders, sexual assault, early language development and more. For children and youth under 18 years
- Canadian Mental Health Association: Find mental health tips and information about specific mental health topics
- Children’s Mental Health Ontario: A network of 4000 professionals ready to help young people facing mental health challenges – for free
- CLEO – Community Legal Education Ontario: Clear, accurate and practical legal information to help people understand and exercise their legal rights
- Mindyourmind: A space where youth can get information, resources, and tools to manage stress, crisis, and mental health related problems.
- Empowered Kids of Ontario: They support evidence-based investments, policies, and programs for kids with special needs and their families. Find information on services and locations of children’s treatment centres.
Death and Grieving
- The Dougy Centre: A place to find support, resources, and connection before or after a death
Divorce and Separation
- Because life goes on…helping children and youth live with separation and divorce: Government of Canada educational materials on preparing yourself and your children for separation or divorce
Ontario’s Tele-Mental Health Service provides children and youth in rural, remote and underserved communities with access to specialized mental health consultations through videoconferencing. Find information below:
Youth Information Sheet: Read more information about your video meeting
Developmental Services for Adults
Explore general information on Adult Developmental Services, as well as topic-specific resources below.
General Information and Forms
Supporting Adults with Developmental Disabilities
- Community Networks of Specialized Care: Supporting adults with complex care needs by linking specialized services together
- International Journal for Direct Support Professionals: Find journal articles on topics related to supporting people with disabilities
- Consensus Guidelines for Primary Health Care of People with Developmental Disabilities: Link to a scientific journal article for primary health care providers
- Care, Support and Treatment of People with a Developmental Disability and Challenging Behaviours – Part I: Consensus Guidelines: Link to a guidance document for healthcare professionals
- Tools for the Primary Care of People with Developmental Disabilities: Link to a handout on caring for a person with a disability
Executive Functioning Newsletter
A newsletter for senior leadership in organizations providing human services. Browse the following titles to find an article of interest.
- Executive Functioning and Evidence-Based Decision Making – Vol 1, Issue 1
- Deliberate Indifference: Understanding the Legal Ramifications of Risk – Vol 1, Issue 2
- Informed Medical Consent. Is there a Role for Agencies and Their Staff? – Vol 1, Issue 3
- Bearing Witness – Vol 1, Issue 4
- Self-Advocacy, Signatures and the Dotted Line – Vol 2, Issue 1
Developmental Services Ontario
Developmental Services Ontario, or DSO, is the single point of access for all ministry-funded adult developmental services. Find additional information about DSO below:
- Passport Program: Visit the DSO website
- Determining a Passport Applicant’s Priority for Service: Read about who gets priority for funding and how the funding amount is determined
- Passport Tip sheet: Learn what you can and can’t pay for with Passport funding
- Passport Program Guidelines: An overview of the passport program for caregivers and adults with disabilities
- Submitting a Passport eClaim: Learn about how to submit Passport invoices online
- Passport Program Ministry Updates: Keep up to date on news and updates in the Passport Program
- How to submit an e-claim: Submit your claims online
- Ministry information: Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services website
We offer virtual service wherever possible, to safely deliver important and much-needed services while protecting employees, clients, families and communities.
We have developed resources to help you access our services virtually. Click on the links below to learn more about connecting to virtual services using BlueJeans:
- Troubleshooting Common Issues Using BlueJeans – VIDEO
- Troubleshooting Common Issues Using BlueJeans – PDF
- How to Download and Join BlueJeans Sessions on a Laptop – VIDEO
- How to Download and Join BlueJeans Sessions on a Laptop – PDF
- How to Download and Join BlueJeans Sessions on a Phone or Tablet – VIDEO
- How to Download and Join BlueJeans Sessions on a Phone or Tablet – PDF