Ahead of autism program overhaul, Ontario government to survey schools on student supports

Ahead of autism program overhaul, Ontario government to survey schools on student supports

The Ontario government is asking school districts to estimate the enrolment changes and detail what supports are in place for students with complex needs, as changes to the autism program are expected to bring more high-needs children into classrooms full-time in about three weeks.

This comes as school principals and several school districts have urged Doug Ford’s government to delay changes to the program that will come into effect on April 1, because there are not enough supports in classrooms.

Hundreds of families and autism advocates protested at Queen’s Park on Thursday saying that their children will not be able to access the intensive therapy that they need, whether it be in private or community-based settings.

In an e-mail sent Thursday to several directors of education, a copy of which was obtained by The Globe and Mail, deputy minister of education Nancy Naylor wrote that the government will be surveying school boards on children transitioning to school full-time and who may be approaching districts for supports.

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