The Saskatchewan Government is expanding the ages eligible to receive Autism Spectrum Disorder supports.
The province says as of July 27th, families of children with autism will be able to access support funding until the child is 11 years old. Announced as part of the 2021-22 Provincial Budget, $10.3 million has been allocated, impacting an estimated 1,000 families.
The Government breaks this down to $6,000 annually per child with ASD from six to 11 years old, and $8,000 annually per child with ASD under the age of six. Children who were 11 on or before March 31, 2021, are eligible to apply for one final payment.
Parents can use this funding for any therapeutic interventions or family supports that fit their child’s needs, which can include respite services, therapeutic equipment, and training for parents and caregivers. It can also encompass behavioural consultants, physical therapists, speech pathologists, psychologists, social workers and occupational therapists.
Autism Services of Saskatoon Executive Director Lynn Latta says children with autism need access to a continuum of services in their early developmental years, which can be financially impactful for families and force difficult decisions.
This funding expansion, she explains, will alleviate some of these decisions and allow parents and caregivers to look into unique supports tailored to the child.
Application forms, eligible services lists and resources for service providers can be found on the Saskatchewan website.