Record Funding for Autism Spectrum Disorder Supports and Services
The 2019-20 Budget dedicates more than $12 million in annual funding to providing autism services and supports for Saskatchewan residents.
The budget includes a $700,000 increase to the Autism Spectrum Disorder Individualized Funding program. This increases the annual funding per child under six from $4,000 to $6,000, providing parents with greater flexibility to choose from a range of therapeutic interventions and supports for their child. The total budget commitment for Autism Spectrum Disorder Individualized Funding is $3.5 million.
The Autism Resource Centre in Regina and Autism Services of Saskatoon will also receive an annualized funding increase of $100,000 each. This will allow each organization to hire a mental health professional to provide enhanced mental health services and supports for individuals with autism and their families.
“Autism services and supports are crucial for ensuring that families who have children with autism have the flexibility and assistance needed to thrive,” Reiter said. “That is why this government brought in individualized funding last year and has increased spending on services and supports from just over $500,000 in 2007 to more than $12 million annually.”
“The Autism Resource Centre is very grateful to the Saskatchewan government for recognizing the unique mental health needs of people with autism,” Autism Resource Centre Executive Director Keely Wight said. “It is a progressive step for Saskatchewan to include autism in the conversation about mental health, and we are now able to provide this much-needed service to those with autism and their loved ones.”
“This funding comes at a critical juncture as the need is great and the issues are complex,” Autism Services of Saskatoon Executive Director Lynn Latta said. “As mental health services expand in our province, the need for an autism-specific lens is crucial. We are excited to be working with the Autism Resource Centre of Regina on a service model combining direct face-to-face therapeutic services, community collaboration and awareness and education initiatives.”
To learn about the Autism Spectrum Disorder Individualized Funding program and other services and supports available for people with Autism Spectrum Disorder, visit www.saskatchewan.ca/autism.