March 31 deadline for parents of autistic children to register for financial help

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One-on-one sessions available on Manitoulin

MANITOULIN – Families of children with autism are invited to attend an event on Monday, March 9 hosted by Autism Ontario that will explain the province’s funding program, will talk about services and will feature a guest speaker.

Michelle Bascom, Autism Ontario service navigator for the Sudbury-Manitoulin area, told The Expositor that the information session is intended to help families understand the Ontario Autism Program and is open to professionals and parents, caregivers and families of youth with Autism Spectrum Disorder.

A two-hour presentation by Dr. Stephani Price will discuss the benefits of psychological services for children with autism and will cover topics like: What is psychology; how are psychological services different from Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA); what is a psychological assessment and what can I expect?; what is psychotherapy and what can I expect?; a review of additional psychological interventions; and how are psychological services potentially covered by the Ontario Autism Program’s Childhood Budget.

The event is free to attend.

Dr. Price is also available to meet with two families after the workshop for a 50-minute drop-in session to consult on any mental health concerns related to their child or family. Dr. Price will also return to Little Current on March 25 to offer an additional drop-in clinic for six more caregivers. Families must register for both the presentation or the 50-minute sessions by visiting AutismOntario.com/civicrm/event/info?id=2595.

Ms. Bascom reminded families that March 31 is the registration deadline for the Childhood Budget where children diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder under the age of six can be eligible to receive $20,000 in funding and for children over the age of six, $5,000.

At this workshop, Ms. Bascom will also provide a step-by-step guide to understanding Interim One Time Funding, including how to fill out the Interim One Time Funding form. 

“Whether your child is registered for the Ontario Autism Program, or waiting for Interim One Time Funding, this workshop will walk you through what each section means for you and your family,” a press release from Autism Ontario notes.

“We really encourage people to come out and learn what funding is available” Ms. Bascom encouraged. “We’re really trying to get as much programming as we can out there but we need people out. Come for the clinic and then connect with me, your service navigator.”

The presentation will take place on Monday, March 9 from 10 am to 12 noon at the Four Directions Complex in Aundeck Omni Kaning. For more information please contact Ms. Bascom at 1-800-472-7789 ext. 346 or by emailing michelle@autismontario.com.