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ASD Diagnostic Guidance Document Toddler/Preschool

The Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) Diagnostic Guidance Document Toddler/Preschool is designed to provide prompts and questions to help you gather evidence and formulate your ASD diagnosis.

ASD Diagnostic Guidance Document (Older/School Age)

The Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) Diagnostic Guidance Document for older school age children is designed to provide prompts, activities and questions to help you gather evidence and formulate your ASD diagnosis.

Post-Diagnostic Medical Follow-Up

The Canadian Pediatric Society provides recommendations relating to post diagnostic management and medical work up:

Typically, a post diagnosis medical work up could include:

  1. History related to possible etiology 
  2. History related to possible medical comorbidities
  3. Physical examination including:  head circumference, growth parameters, distinctive features, neurocutaneous lesions and focal neurologic signs 
  4. Genetic (e.g., Fragile X and Microarray analysis) and metabolic testing 
  5. MRI if indicated
  6. Sleep Deprived EEG (if seizures are suspected)
  7. Other bloodwork relating to nutrition, lead, thyroid function, if relevant
  8. Audiology and vision assessments
  9. Dental assessment
Cultural competence resources for diagnosticians

Free toolkits

Towards Cultural Competence communication for autism diagnosticians working with South Asian and Black families.

Towards Cultural Competence communication for autism diagnosticians working with Cantonese, Mandarin and Tagalog speaking caregivers

Family friendly next steps recommendations for diagnosticians

The following helpful information can be included in your diagnostic report to families: 


Ontario Autism Program (OAP) Registration
  • Registration is completed through AccessOAP or by calling 1-833-425-2445 (with interpreter support if needed).
  • To register, the family will need:
    • proof of age
    • proof of residency (see document below for options) 
    • diagnostic letter clearly stating the diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder

For more information about the OAP, please visit the Ontario Autism Program website.  

Once registered, the child will be able to access the OAP until they turn 18. During that time, families can access various OAP services and supports depending on their child’s strengths and needs, as well as program availability. Families can check the AccessOAP family portal for their child’s OAP reference number. The first service that's available to families as soon as they register is Foundational Family Services.

Ontario Autism Program (OAP): Information on Services
  1. Foundational Family Services (FFS):
    Free caregiver workshops, individual caregiver coaching and support groups for caregivers and siblings. 

    Ontario Autism Program: foundational family services (FFS) are free of charge and available as soon as a family registers. They aim to provide families with more tools support their child's ongoing learning and development.

  2. OAP Caregiver Mediated Early Years programs (CMEY): 
    For children ages 12 to 48 months: by OAP invitation

    Ontario Autism Program: caregiver-mediated early years programs (CMEY) programs are free of charge, and available to families with children ages 12 to 48 months who have received an invitation to participate from the OAP. These programs are individualized and play-based. The programs help children and caregivers to learn new skills and meet individualized goals. 

    For information about all CMEY programs offered in Ontario, visit Ontario Autism Program: caregiver-mediated early years programs - find services

  3. Entry to School programs (ETS): 
    For children eligible for kindergarten or grade 1 entering for the first time by OAP invitation

    Ontario Autism Program: entry to school program (ETS) programs are free of charge, and available to families with children who are eligible for kindergarten or grade 1 and have not yet entered school. An invitation for the ETS program is sent by the OAP to eligible families. This program includes two parts. The first part is a six-month, group-based, skill-building program, focused on helping children develop school-readiness skills in six key areas. The second part provides your child with individual transition supports as they enter school.                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

  4. Urgent Response Service (URS):                                                                                                                        Ontario Autism Program: urgent response services - short-term service for children or youth who are currently experiencing an urgent need. Service is intended to prevent a crisis or reduce the risk of harm to self, others or property.                                                                                                                                                                             

  5. Core Clinical Services funding:                                                                                                                                  Ontario Autism Program: core clinical services - funding for “core clinical services” based on a child’s individual needs. Funding may be used for applied behaviour analysis (ABA), speech-language pathology, occupational therapy and/or mental health services. A care coordinator from AccessOAP will complete a “determination of needs” process to determine annual funding allocation.                                                                                                       Help for families finding service providers

Connect Families to Organizations in Ontario providing autism services SmartStart Hub

SmartStart Hubs make it easier for families in Ontario to connect with child development services in their communities as early as possible. Caregivers who have a concern about their child’s development or day-to-day functioning can contact their local SmartStart Hub to get support in determining next steps. Services are provided to children and youth living in Ontario from birth until the age of 19, or up to age 21 if they are in school, and no diagnosis or referral is needed.


Children’s Treatment Centres across the province, and Surrey Place in Toronto, deliver SmartStart Hubs services, which include:

  • supporting the identification of children’s and families’ strengths, goals and needs; and
  • connecting families to local professionals in early intervention and child development for assessments, services, and/or family-based supports.


Find your local SmartStart Hub.


See attachment below for a full list of organizations in Ontario providing Foundational Family Services and other programs for children and youth with Autism.

Disability Tax Credit

T2201 Disability Tax Credit Certificate - a medical practitioner (does not have to be the diagnosing clinician) must complete the applicable sections of the T2201 Disability Tax Credit Certificate. If you have questions about completing the application contact: 1 800 280-2639. This is non-refundable tax-credit helps families offset the cost of supports by reducing the amount of tax owed every year. 

The following resources can assist families with completing the application:

Special Services at Home (SSAH)
Assistance for Children with Severe Disabilities (ACSD)
Additional financial supports for families
  • Easter Seals Ontario - Incontinence Supplies Grant - annual grant to assist with the cost of incontinence supplies (e.g. diapers, pull-ups). Children over 3 years old with a disability, who use these supplies during the day may be eligible. Application form must be completed with the assistance of a medical practitioner. 
    Telephone: 416-510-5074

  • Access2 Card - free or discounted admission for a support person, accompanying an individual with a disability at select movie theatres and attractions across Canada. Application form must be completed with the assistance of a health care professional.
    Telephone: 416-932-8382
  • Apply for Child Care Subsidy if eligible (income based). 

Services for families with children 0-6 years

Preschool Services:

Families can Register for free Speech and Language Services if child is not in Kindergarten 

EarlyON Child and Family Centres offer free, high-quality programs for families and children from birth to 6 years old. 

Encourage families to Register for daycare in your area and ask for a resource consultant / early interventionist to help with programming and support.

Mental health resources, services and training opportunities

Children's Mental Health Ontario (CMHO) has resources and services listed.

Find a location for children's mental health services near you.

Free Training Program  for Autism and Mental Health Providers in Ontario (virtual)

General Resources

General Resources:

Have families connect with Autism Ontario where they can learn about autism and connect with their local Autism Ontario community for events and support.

Advocacy Toolkit for Parents of Children and Youth with ASD developed by parents is free to download. The toolkit reviews how to apply effective advocacy skills in different situations (school, healthcare system, community) throughout childhood.

Resources for teens: