Apr 15, 2024

How Do I Pay for Autism Services in Ontario

Provincial & Federal Funding, Grants and Tax Programs

Navigating the support and funding landscape for Autism Services in Ontario can be overwhelming but is essential for families seeking assistance. We aim to empower families with the knowledge needed to secure the financial support they require.  


Young girl working in a classroom at a desk


Government Funding & Supports


In Ontario, various options are available for families caring for individuals with autism. Some programs are autism-specific, while others cover a range of disabilities, both physical and developmental. 

We've compiled a list of the most common and accessible funding sources and supports for families of children or adults with autism. 

These programs are specific to Ontario and only apply to residents. 


Ontario Autism Program (OAP)

The OAP offers financial support to families of children and youth on the autism spectrum. To access the program, families must register with AccessOAP.  


Funding is needs-based and ranges from $6,600-$65,000. 


To qualify, your child must: 


Special Services at Home (SSAH)

SSAH offers essential caregiver and related support to families caring for a child with developmental and/or physical disabilities. It encompasses caregiver relief and enriching activities like camps, swimming and music classes, fostering the child's personal growth and development. 


To qualify, your child must: 

  • need extra support beyond what is expected for their age because of a physical and/or developmental disability so that they can take part in daily activities at home and in the community 
  • be a resident of Ontario and legally entitled to live in Canada 
  • be under 18 years old 
  • live at home with their main caregiver or live separately from their main caregiver without support from other government-funded out-of-home (residential) services 


Assistance for Children with Severe Disabilities (ACSD)

Through the ACSD program, eligible guardians can receive between $25 and $646/month to help with disability-related costs. This program is not autism-specific.  


To qualify, you must: 

  • be the parent or guardian of a child under 18 who lives at home and has a severe disability 
  • have a household income ​below $76,200 

Other factors for eligibility include: 

  • Size of your family 
  • ​​The severity of your child’s disability 
  • have extraordinary costs related to your child’s disability 


Developmental Services Ontario

DSO helps adults with developmental disabilities access services funded by the Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services (MCCSS). While DSO doesn’t provide services directly, it acts as an access point. 


Available services include housing support, caregiver respite, community participation aids, specialized clinical support, the Adult Protective Service Worker Program and the Passport program. 


Eligible individuals can access Passport funding, which is equivalent to SSAH for adults. 


To quality, you must:

  • have a developmental disability 
  • live in Ontario 
  • be at least 18 years old


Family Directed Respite Reimbursement 

Family Directed Respite (FDR) funding, facilitated by Geneva Centre for Autism on behalf of the Toronto Respite Network, empowers families to create personalized respite plans. It's a reimbursement program aimed at those not connected to ministry-funded respite/camp programs. This initiative, funded by the Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services, enhances families' access to community-based respite services. Availability of funds is not guaranteed. 


To qualify, your child must: 

  • be diagnosed with ASD 
  • be between 2 years of age until their 18th birthday 
  • reside with a caregiver and be a permanent resident of Toronto 
  • Note: Families using ministry-funded respite or camp programs may not be eligible 


Ontario Assistive Device Program (OADP)

The OADP assists individuals with long-term physical disabilities in acquiring customized equipment such as wheelchairs and hearing aids. It covers 75% of the equipment cost, with applicants responsible for the remaining 25%. 

To quality, you must:  

  • be an Ontario resident 
  • have a valid Ontario health card 
  • have a disability requiring equipment or supplies for 6 months or longer 


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Disability Tax Credit (DTC)

The Disability Tax Credit (DTC) is a nonrefundable tax credit designed to assist individuals with disabilities or their supporting family members in reducing their income tax obligations. Those with severe and prolonged impairments can apply for this credit and, if approved, claim it at tax time. 



  • Certification from a medical practitioner that you have severe and prolonged impairment 
  • You meet the specific eligibility in one or more of these categories: walking, mental functions, dressing, feeding, eliminating, hearing, speaking, vision & life-sustaining therapy


Registered Disability Savings Plan (RDSP)

If you are approved to receive the DTC, you are also eligible to contribute to the RDSP. This savings plan is not tax deductible and can be made until the end of the year in which the beneficiary turns 59.  



  • Is approved for the DTC (unless transferring from an existing RDSP to a new RDSP)  
  • Has a valid Social Insurance Number  
  • Entered into the plan as a resident of Canada  
  • Is under the age of 60 (a plan can be opened until the end of the year you turn 59). The age limit does not apply when a beneficiary’s RDSP is opened as a result of a transfer from the beneficiary’s former RDSP)


Canada Disability Savings Grant (CDSG)

The Canadian Government provides grants to RDSPs. These grants match contributions at rates of 300%, 200% or 100%, depending on the beneficiary’s adjusted family net income and the amount contributed. RDSPs can receive a maximum of $3,500 in matching grants annually and up to $70,000 over the beneficiary’s lifetime. For further details, visit the CRA website


Jordan’s Principle

Jordan's Principle ensures that First Nations children across Canada receive the support they need, regardless of their location. Funding covers various health, social and educational needs, including those unique to First Nations Two-Spirit and LGBTQQIA children, as well as those with disabilities. 



  • registered or eligible for registration under the Indian Act 
  • has one parent or guardian registered or eligible for registration under the Indian Act 
  • recognized by their nation for Jordan's Principle 
  • resides ordinarily on reserve


Grants & Other Funding


Summer One-to-One Summer Support Worker Fund

The One-to-One Summer Support Worker Reimbursement Fund offers up to $600 per child or youth (up to age 18) to Ontario families of children with autism. This fund helps cover the cost of a one-to-one worker or camp/program fees, whether virtual or in-person, between July and August. Applications are accepted from May 1 to May 31 each year. .



  • Your application must include a formal ASD diagnosis from a qualified professional. 


Autism Ontario March Break Reimbursement Fund

Autism Ontario offers a March break reimbursement fund. The funds are dispersed via random draw, and there is no guarantee that you will receive reimbursement.  



  • A formal ASD diagnosis from a qualified professional 


Incontinence Supplies Grant Program

The Incontinence* Supplies Grant, administered by Easter Seals Ontario, provides an annual grant to help families offset the costs of diapers and related incontinence supplies. This program is fully funded by the Ministry of Health and offers two payments per year.  


To qualify, your child must: 

  • be a resident of Ontario between the ages of 3 to 18 years 
  • have a valid Ontario Health Card 
  • have a chronic physical or developmental disability causing irreversible incontinence or retention issues for more than six months, necessitating the use of incontinence supplies 


*loss of bladder control 


We’re Here to Help

Being well-informed is the first step toward taking positive action for your child and your family. At the Geneva Centre for Autism, we’re here to help. We provide state-of-the-art clinical services for families in the Greater Toronto Area, ensuring you have the knowledge and support you need to navigate this journey with confidence and care. 

Speak to our friendly staff