Ontario’s school boards will receive additional non-renewable funding of $ 12,300 on average for each child with Autism Spectrum Disorder who will be joining school by the end of the current school year.
Education Minister Lisa Thompson made the announcement Monday morning in Ottawa as many parents fear the impact of the changes to the Ontario Autism Program at schools across the province.
More autistic students will be entering school full-time this spring, and we are making these changes to school board funding for support , the minister told a news conference.
These supports begin immediately.
Minister Lisa Thompson’s office indicated that these funds will be awarded to students with autism who will be entering classes in the remaining months of the 2018-19 school year.
For the following years, the province says it will fund training for autistic children for teachers.
A request from school principals
Two weeks ago, the Association des direction des écoles franco-ontariennes (ADFO) sent a letter to Minister Lisa Thompson.
The ADFO asked for a strategy and resources to help schools accommodate more children with autism by April 1, when the changes to Ontario’s Early Childhood Services Program began. autism will come into effect.
Through this reform, Doug Ford’s government wants to give money directly to parents of children with autism to enable them to get treatment in the private sector rather than waiting for a subsidized place.
However, many parents fear that provincial funding will run out quickly, which would prevent their children from benefiting from more expensive intensive therapies.
According to the Association, these changes mean that children will now have to attend school full-time due to lack of access to community or private resources.
However, schools are not able to meet the additional needs of these students, according to the ADFO .
According to the director general of the ADFO , Nadine Trépanier-Brisson, the minister’s announcement answers
some , but not all,
We have a workforce shortage in the schools and the specialized staff for students with [Autism Spectrum Disorder] is very limited
Minister Lisa Thompson also announced that the province will provide funding for
after-school programs for students with autism spectrum disorders.
The Ontario government will also maintain annual funding of $ 3 billion for children with special needs.