In support of World Autism Awareness Day, we are spreading the word on what autism is and how to help children with autism reach their potential. In Ontario over 70,000 people have Autism and more broadly it affects 1 in 150 children.
Our therapy team wore blue for the eighth annual World Autism Awareness Day, April 2, 2016.
Autism is a complex neurological disorder
Autism usually appears during the first three years of life. People with autism process and respond to information in unique ways. Most kids with autism have:
- Difficulty relating to others
- Problems with speech and non-verbal communication
- Limited and repetitive interests and behaviour (ie. hand flapping and rocking.
Learn more about the characteristics of autism by visiting our website.
What you can do if you think your child may have autism
To diagnose autism, a development pediatrician, clinical psychologist or psychiatrist will watch the child’s behaviour and ask parents about the child’s development. If you think that your child has autism, your first step is to talk to your family doctor. Your doctor will do an assessment or refer you to another professional (for example, a psychologist) for an assessment and diagnosis.
A parent’s story
“We were devastated when our son was diagnosed with autism. We were connected with some great community resources but unfortunately we found ourselves on a lot of waitlists. We had heard that early intervention was key and wanted to get started right away. We had been working with a speech-language pathologist and were happy to learn that Children’s Support Solutions also offered Behaviour Therapy as part of their integrated services. We met with our team to create a plan that would best work for our family. They understood that our family is exceptionally busy. We were able to coordinate a therapy program at our son’s daycare and at the clinic. We were relieved because we were worried about pulling him from the daycare he was at since he was a year old. Our speech therapists, who knew our son, worked with his new team members to integrate his therapy goals. We are relieved to have a great early intervention program in place for our son. – Mom of two and half year old boy with Autism
Morneau Shepell’s Children’s Support Solutions’ experts can help
At Morneau Shepell our child and teen psychologists assess and diagnosis children with a variety of disorders, or as we like to call them ‘exceptionalities’, including autism spectrum disorder. Our clients choose our services because we offer:
- Fast access to services. For most services we have zero to limited waitlists.
- Trusted expertise. Each year Morneau Shepell helps over half a million people through therapy, education and coaching.
- An interprofessional care model. Our therapists’ expertise spans across psychology, speech, behaviour, life skills, learning and physical therapy. They collaborate on a client file to create customized treatment plans for clients.
Our services are available in-clinic or online
We offer one-on-one and group sessions located at four clinics across the Greater Toronto (Thornhill-Vaughn, Mississauga, Toronto and Aurora), as well as online to serve busy families and those living in other areas of the province.
Find out how we can help your child reach their potential. Speak to a Child and Family Advisor today at 1.866.653.2397 or by sending us a message here.