Saskatchewan children who have Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) will now have access to more services under the Individualized Funding (IF) program.
Eligible services now include life skills programs such as swimming and tutoring, as well as therapeutic day camps and summer programs, and equine therapy in addition to the previously covered services. This announcement adds on to the expansion of IF to cover children with ASD age six to 11, that was announced in July.
This year, $10.3 million was allocated to provide $8,000 annually per child with ASD up to the age of five, and $6,000 annually per child with ASD from age six to 11.
Parents are provided funding for therapeutic interventions and family supports suited to their child’s needs. About 1,000 families are expected to access IF this year. These new services build on the current range of services which includes respite care, therapeutic equipment, and training for parents and caregivers.
Health Minister Paul Merriman says by covering more services this will have a positive impact in the daily lives of children with autism and their families.
“Children who experience disability deserve the opportunity to learn, grow and thrive in ways best suited to them.”
Social Services Minister Lori Carr says they heard from parents and caregivers that they wanted more flexibility in using funding.
“We understand each child has their own unique needs, and as part of our person-centred approach to support, expanding eligible services will allow them that flexibility.”
The application form and eligible services list are available at saskatchewan.ca/autism.
Private service providers are encouraged to sign up to be listed on the registry, and can contact [email protected] for more information.