Health Minister Announces Funding for National Information Network on Autism

News release

Meeting the information needs of Canadians living with or directly impacted by Autism Spectrum Disorder

October 22, 2018                   Montreal, QC                  Public Health Agency of Canada

Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) can have significant and lifelong impacts on individuals living with the disorder, their families and their caregivers. One of the challenges families affected by autism face is navigating a wealth of information and resources with no certainty regarding the quality or credibility of the content they find. Having a centralized, trusted and accessible source for the latest evidence-based information on autism would address this challenge and allow families to spend more time supporting those impacted by ASD.

Today, the Honourable Ginette Petitpas Taylor, Minister of Health, announced more than $10 million for the Pacific Autism Family Network and the Miriam Foundation to develop the Autism-Intellectual-Developmental Disabilities National Resource and Exchange (AIDE) Network, a national website and online resource centre for Canadians. The AIDE Network will provide centralized access to the latest evidence-based research, information, resources and supports on ASD in both official languages. In addition, six AIDE locations across Canada will provide a point of access for Canadians to obtain resources and supports on ASD.

The funding announced today is part of the Government of Canada’s Budget 2018 investment of $20 million over five years to better support the needs of Canadians with ASD and their families.


“The needs of Canadians living with and affected by autism are complex and diverse. The investment announced today will give Canadians easy access to reliable, quality information and resources from a trusted source. This free service will support greater awareness, understanding, knowledge and capacity to support the health and well-being of those living with ASD and their families.”

The Honourable Ginette Petitpas Taylor, P.C., M.P.
Minister of Health

 “Thanks to the support of the Government of Canada and the Minister, we are on the verge of making a real and significant difference in the lives of Canadians living with autism and their families. This new initiative will see the development of an online national resource and exchange network that will support the sharing of information, resources, programs and best and promising practices, in both official languages, to reduce health inequalities for individuals living with ASD and their families.”

Mr. Sergio Cocchia
Board Chair/President, Pacific Autism Family Network

“AIDE will help to generate greater awareness, understanding and capacity to support the health and well-being of those living with  ASD by curating and disseminating evidence-based information, resources and programs through an online library and supporting national collaboration and partnership through the hub to hub network. ”

Mr. Warren Greenstone
President and Chief Executive Office, Miriam Foundation

Quick facts

  • October is Autism Awareness Month, which provides an opportunity for Canadians to learn more about this condition and about how they can support people living with autism, their families and their caregivers.

  • Autism spectrum disorder is a neurodevelopmental disorder that refers to a range of conditions characterized by challenges with social skills, repetitive behaviours, speech and nonverbal communication.

  • According to the Public Health Agency of Canada’s National Autism Spectrum Disorder Surveillance System, approximately 1 in 66 Canadian children and youth, aged 5 to 17 years, are diagnosed with autism. Boys are 4.5 times more likely to be diagnosed with ASD than girls.

Associated links


Thierry Bélair
Office of Ginette Petitpas Taylor
Minister of Health

Media Relations
Public Health Agency of Canada

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