Frequently Asked Questions and Answers


How do I get a diagnosis for my child? 

Families can receive a diagnosis of autism from qualified professionals with expertise and who have undergone specific training. These include family physicians, pediatricians and developmental pediatricians, psychiatrists, psychologists, psychological associates, and nurse practitioners. Children can also be referred by their doctor to the Autism Diagnostic Hub.

My child received a diagnosis of autism, how long will I wait now to get my Childhood Budget?

If your child is placed on the provincial waitlist after April 1, 2019, it will take 18+ months to receive an invitation to the Childhood Budget. If your child was on the waitlist prior to that date, they will receive their budget within the next 18 months.  There is no way to predict when a child will come off of the list as it was consolidated into a provincial list and we’ve been told there are prioritized groups, including 5-year-olds before they turn 6, 17-year-olds before they turn 18, and children who have been waiting the longest.

Does my child need a diagnosis?

KidsAbility provides families with a range of therapy and services for their child or youth with physical, communication, behavioural or developmental challenges—regardless of if they have a diagnosis or not.

Waiting List

Am I on the waitlist?

To find out if your child is on the Ontario Autism Program waiting list, contact the Central Intake Registration Team at 1-888-444-4530 or email Ontario Autism Program.

Behaviour Plans

What happens after my child’s Behaviour Plan runs out?

When your child’s current Behaviour Plan is nearing its end, you will receive a letter from the Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services (MCCSS) that will tell you how to apply for the Childhood Budget.

Treatment Planning

What is a Treatment Planning Session?

Every child is different and every family has their own goals that are important to them.

Treatment Planning is required to access KidsAbility’s Behavioural Support services (not respite or recreational services) and recommendations are valid for up to one year. Treatment Planning involves an in-depth caregiver interview and a hands-on assessment and observation with your child. This will allow us to get to know your family, identify priority goals and discuss a therapy plan specific to your child. Our goal is to truly understand the strengths and needs for your child and family.  

What does Treatment Planning Include?

Treatment Planning includes a written report outlining recommendations for therapy made by one of our Board Certified Behaviour Analysts, which will be reviewed with your family. This document will include brief strategies based on the principles of Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA), and will outline areas of strengths, needs and behaviour barriers. We understand that you know your child best and the Treatment Plan will help us to develop a roadmap that will allow us to best help your child together.

Do I need Treatment Planning?

Treatment Planning is required to access KidsAbility Behavioural Support services (not respite or recreational services). Recommendations are valid for up to one year.

I already have a treatment plan. Do I need another one?

For families that do have a valid Treatment Plan, it may be possible that we can use your existing plan to inform our team’s clinical recommendations for your child. We may need to bring you in only for a partial session so that you can participate in goal setting. Each professional approaches a Treatment Plan differently. We cannot guarantee that we will be able to use your existing plan, but will look at each request on a case-by-case basis provided all the necessary details are there.

How long does a Treatment Plan last for? If my child is still working on the same goals after the Treatment Plan is done, do I need another one? 

Each Treatment Plan is valid for 12 months. If your child comes to the end of their Treatment Plan but still needs to continue working on the same goals, we will incorporate any needed assessments into your services.

Can I purchase more clinical hours than what is recommended through my child’s Treatment Plan?

No. Our clinical recommendations are like a prescription based on what we believe is needed for your child’s success. We will work with you to determine how to best meet your goals. As your needs and your child’s needs change, so will our approach. Families are able to purchase unlimited camps and respite programs.

Payment Options

What will my Childhood Budget pay for?

If you receive a Childhood Budget, to determine what services are eligible under the Ontario Autism Program, please refer to Autism in Ontario for a listing of Eligible and Ineligible Services. If families are not sure if a service or support is eligible for purchase using a Childhood Budget or have questions, they are encouraged to discuss it with an Ontario Autism Program representative. To contact a representative please email Ontario Autism Program or call 1-888-444-4530.

I can’t afford to pay for the services upfront. What are my options?

Our Social Workers can help you to determine any subsidies, grants and rebates that you might be eligible for. We can also assist you in going through your workplace benefit plan should that be an option as well.

Are services eligible to be covered through my workplace benefits?

Perhaps. Depending on your workplace benefit plan, some services may be covered. Our Social Workers can help you to determine what you may or may not be able to claim through your benefit plan.

What if I won’t be receiving a Childhood Budget?

If your family will not be receiving a Childhood Budget, you can still choose to purchase services for your child from KidsAbility out of pocket. Our Social Workers can help you to determine any subsidies, grants and rebates that you might be eligible for. We can also assist you in going through your workplace benefit plan should that be an option as well.

Can I send all of my money to KidsAbility directly from my Childhood Budget?

It is an option but speak to our Social Workers to determine what is best going to meet your family’s needs.

I don’t have my Childhood Budget yet. Can I apply these funds to services my child receives retroactively?

No. Unfortunately, you cannot use your Childhood Budget for services that you purchased in the past.

Services Available

What services can I purchase for my child from KidsAbility and what’s included?

KidsAbility’s services are all-inclusive and there are no hidden fees for things like supplies, administrative costs or toys. Services that are available for purchase include:

  • Behaviour Supports – Groups and 1:1 ABA services
  • Respite – Before and after therapy care, weekend and evenings, etc.
  • Recreation – Camps, social skills programs, and more.
  • Caregiver Supports – Workshops, training, etc.
  • Speech & Language Therapy
  • Occupational Therapy
  • Physiotherapy

 What kind of skills do you work on?

  • Adaptive and self-care skills
  • Attending and social referencing
  • Cognitive functioning
  • Community participation
  • Coping and tolerance skills
  • Emotional development
  • Family relationships
  • Language and communication
  • Play and leisure skills
  • Pre-academic skills
  • Reduction of interfering or inappropriate behaviours
  • Safety skills
  • Self-advocacy and independence
  • Self-management
  • Social relationships
  • Vocational skills

Does KidsAbility offer services on evenings and weekends?

KidsAbility is pleased to offer services until 8pm from Monday to Friday and on Saturdays until 4pm.

We can create a customizable program that will meet your needs.

Why are KidsAbility’s services $80 an hour when I saw another provider charging $55 an hour?

KidsAbility’s services are all-inclusive and there are no hidden fees. Our price per hour includes materials, meetings, 20% supervision by a BCBA. Our staff are highly trained therapists that go through rigorous training competencies. We provide training and development, purchase evidence-based curriculum and state of the art data collection to maximize the direct care with your child.

Do you offer before and after therapy care?

We can create a customizable program that will meet your needs.

Do you offer services other than direct care for a child?

We provide training to parents and caregivers and many partners in our local community. We work outside our walls to ensure that when our children are ready for the community, the community is ready for our children. Is your place of work or worship accessible? We can help you to break down barriers so that everyone in our community can participate fully.

What other services will be offered by KidsAbility in the future?

We hope to launch workshops and further respite offerings in the fall. Please reach out to us if you have suggestions.

Amanda Griffin - Firefly Therapy Services Supervisor | 519-886-8886 ext. 1349

Additional Questions

If I have other questions about KidsAbility’s services, who can I contact?

Amanda Griffin - Firefly Therapy Services Supervisor | 519-886-8886 ext. 1349

Natalie Robinson - Director of Autism Services | 519-886-8886 ext. 1205