Applications Open for Autism Spectrum Disorder Individualized Funding
The Government of Saskatchewan is fulfilling its commitment to provide individualized funding for children under the age of six who have been diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). The application form and eligible services list have been posted at www.saskatchewan.ca/autism.
“Our government remains committed to improving services for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder and their parents, caregivers and families,” Health Minister Jim Reiter said. “Individualized funding will provide more choice and flexibility for families, and improve access to supports.”
In 2018-19, $2.8 million has been allocated to provide $4,000 per child with ASD under the age of six. The program will provide parents with funding for therapeutic interventions and family supports that best suit their child’s individual needs. It is estimated that approximately 700 children will be eligible for funding this year.
“Our government is working to make Saskatchewan a more inclusive province that is welcoming, responsive, innovative and accessible so people with disabilities can live the life of their choice,” Social Services Minister Paul Merriman said. “Individualized funding makes it easier for parents of young children with autism to have access to services that make the most sense for their needs.”
ASD Individualized Funding is a joint Ministry of Health and Ministry of Social Services program. The Ministry of Social Services is administering the program, and is now accepting applications. Families who have applied and meet the program criteria will begin receiving funding in August 2018. ASD Individualized Funding is in addition to autism services that will continue to be provided in the public system.
The Ministry of Health is building a registry of autism service providers to assist parents in locating service providers. The registry will be posted on www.saskatchewan.ca/autism in August 2018, and will include:
- Behavioural consultants (who may provide applied behaviour analysis);
- Physical therapists;
- Occupational therapists;
- Social workers;
- Speech pathologists.
Private service providers are encouraged to sign up for the registry, and can contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information on how to do so.
Funding can also be used for respite services, therapeutic equipment, training/coaching for parents/caregivers and more. For more information, consult the eligible services list available at www.saskatchewan.ca/autism.
Development of the Autism Individualized Funding program has been informed by the Autism Stakeholder Working Group. The group included parents of children with ASD and individuals who provide services for families impacted by ASD. The Government of Saskatchewan would like to thank them for their work and dedication to the creation of this program.
The Autism Individualized Funding program supports the 10-year Saskatchewan Disability Strategy and its vision of making Saskatchewan a more welcoming, inclusive, and accessible province for people who experience disabilities. The program also supports Saskatchewan’s Early Years Plan and its goal of finding better ways to support children experiencing disabilities.
In addition to the $2.8 million allocated to ASD Individualized Funding in 2018-19, the Ministry of Health will continue to provide $8.55 million annually to support a continuum of autism services, including autism consultants, support workers and rehabilitation therapists.
Additional information on the program can be found at www.saskatchewan.ca/autism.