FAMILIES & CLINICIANS ARE FIGHTING FOR A TRUE NEEDS-BASED AUTISM PROGRAM IN ONTARIO
Andrea Talpos, BCBA
February 11, 2021
2 minute read
In December 2020, the Ministry of Children, Community & Social Services (MCCSS) released a newsletter that outlined the five pillars of the new needs-based OAP program:
- Core clinical services (ABA/SLP/OT/health supports)
- Foundational family services
- Early intervention
- Urgent mental health supports
- Service navigation
On February 9, 2021, the MCCSS announced that starting in March, the new needs-based OAP program for core clinical services will be trialed with 600 families across Ontario. These families will provide feedback to the government for refining the delivery of the program.
IN THE MEANTIME, WHAT DOES IT MEAN FOR ALL OTHER FAMILIES?
Families that are using the Legacy OAP (Behaviour Plan) Funding will continue to have undisturbed access to this funding until your child transitions into the new needs-based OAP program.
Families that are using the Childhood Budget or One-Time Interim Funding (5K/20K), will have the following options until your child transitions into the new needs-based OAP program:
- A 6-month extension (18 months instead of 12 months) to use and reconcile the funds due to COVID19
- Transition to One-Time Interim Funding once the funds from your Childhood Budget are used
- NEW AS OF JANUARY 2021: A SECOND round of One-Time Interim Funding (5K/20K depending on your child’s age) once the funds are used in the first round! – additional information on this will be shared in the coming weeks
Families that are on the waitlist for the One-Time Interim Funding or the new-needs based OAP program will receive a letter when their turn is up, fingers crossed it is soon! We have been seeing in influx of our families entering the program in the past couple of months!
IS TNE NEW NEEDS BASED PROGRAM ACTUALLY NEEDS BASED?
In reality, unfortunately, it is not. The program places a contingency on age, so it is needs AND age based.
Children 0 to 9 are eligible to receive up to $65,000 (based on their need)
Children 10 to 14 are eligible to receive up to $41,000 (based on their need)
Children 15 to 18 are eligible to receive up to $31,900 (based on their need)
WHAT FAMILIES CAN EXPECT FROM THE NEW PROGRAM FOR CORE CLINICAL SERVICES
- Access to a care coordinator that will determine your child’s needs based on your child’s goals, strengths and support needs across key domains (key domains evaluated are highlighted in the Individualized Student Plan each family receives from Superminds)
- Families will receive funds to purchase core clinical services of their choice, from providers of their choice – criteria for need based funding tiers has not been disclosed
A DEFINITE WIN FOR THE ABA COMMUNITY: THE GOVERNMENT PLANS TO REGULATE ABA IN CANADA
An incredibly important change that will be implemented, and a BIG WIN for the ABA community in Canada, is an increased oversight of clinicians providing ABA. The government is looking to introduce a legislation to regulate ABA as a new profession under the College of Psychologists in Ontario, starting with ABA in supervisory and assessment focused roles.
Currently, all clinical supervisors approved to oversee OAP programs must:
Have a master’s degree (Apply Disability Studies, Education, or related field)
Have a minimum of 1,500 hours of supervised fieldwork after completing their master’s degree to be eligible to write the certification (BCBA) exam
Pass the certification exam
Maintain certification by attending continuing education workshops
Apply for re-certification every 2 years
Have a minimum 3,000 hours of fieldwork after passing the certification exam * all clinical supervisors must have the 3,000 fieldwork hours completed by 2024
Many of these requirements have been implemented over the past couple of years and we are very excited to see that the government is continuing to implement changes that ensure families have access to evidence based services.
Although the program is heading in the right direction, we will continue to advocate for families to access a true needs based program. If you have any questions about the current programs or the new program, do not hesitate to reach out!
MEET THE AUTHOR | ANDREA TALPOS, BCBA®
Owner & Clinical Director, Superminds Inc.
Hi, I'm Andrea! I coach clinical teams and parents on how to help children manage their bigger emotions, enhance their language and communication skills, and become independent little people.
I absolutely love shaping more difficult behaviour, developing social programs, working with AAC tools, coaching parents on sleep and toilet training, and researching evidence-based treatments.
The truth is, raising a little one of my own is teaching me first hand of the challenges parents face and has empowered me to become a powerhouse paediatric clinician.
Group, individual, or remote mentorship, training and supervision available for therapists looking to pursue their RBT®, BCaBA®, BCBA® certification.