Government of Canada Announces New Support for Canadians Living with Autism Spectrum Disorder and Those Who Care for Them
New projects will promote knowledge and skills development, and increase access to resources
August 19, 2019 - Oakville, ON - Public Health Agency of Canada
One in 66 Canadian children and youth live with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) – a complex, life-long condition that presents serious challenges for those living with it, as well as their families, caregivers and communities. Today, Pam Damoff, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Health, announced an array of community-based projects to assist and support individuals with ASD and those who care for them, supported by more than $3 million in funding from the Public Health Agency of Canada and an additional $720,774 of in-kind support from partner organizations.
Projects receiving funding will:
- support Canadians living with ASD as well as their families and caregivers to gain knowledge, skills and resources
- help communities better address the challenges of ASD and assist those living with it.
“It gives me great pride to announce six new initiatives to help Canadians living with autism spectrum disorder live life to the fullest. These community-based projects across the country address a broad range of issues, from mental health to sexuality to employment. These fantastic programs will support Canadians living with ASD and those who care for them – where and when they need it most.”
Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Health
ASD is a neurodevelopmental disorder that refers to a range of conditions characterized by challenges with social skills, repetitive behaviours, speech and nonverbal communication.
Approximately 1 in 66 Canadian children and youth, aged 5 to 17 years, is diagnosed with ASD. Boys are identified with ASD four times more frequently than girls.
The projects announced today were funded through the Public Health Agency of Canada’s Autism Spectrum Disorder Strategic Fund.
Budget 2018 allocated $20 million over five years to better support the needs of Canadians living with ASD, their families, caregivers and communities. Of this overall investment, $9.1 million went towards the establishment of the Autism Spectrum Disorder Strategic Fund to support community-based projects that provide tangible opportunities for individuals living with ASD, their families and caregivers to gain knowledge, resources and skills.
In October 2018, more than $10 million was announced 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 online access to credible and evidence-based ASD information, as well as an inventory of services, employment opportunities and local programming across the country, in both official languages.
- Autism Spectrum Disorder
- Autism Spectrum Disorder among Children and Youth in Canada 2018: A Report of the National Autism Spectrum Disorder Surveillance System
- Infographic: Autism Spectrum Disorder among Children and Youth in Canada 2018
- Backgrounder: New Projects under Autism Spectrum Disorder Strategic Fund
Office of Ginette Petitpas Taylor
Minister of Health
Public Health Agency of Canada
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