AccessOAP is an independent intake organization funded by the Government of Ontario to help families access the supports and services of the Ontario Autism Program.
Through an online family portal and with the support of care coordinators, families can see what service options are available to them and be supported in choosing and accessing the OAP services that best suit their needs.
This is an overview of the services offered in the OAP, for more information about OAP Services and Eligibility, see the Ontario Autism Program website.
There are five service streams available to families:
1) Families who are registered in the OAP can access Foundational Family Services at any point based on their child’s needs, at no cost.
Foundational Family Services aim to build a family’s capacity to support their child’s learning and development and are offered in a variety of formats including virtual, self-directed, in-person or group-based sessions that are tailored to different family, cultural and regional needs.
2) Caregiver-mediated Early Years programs support eligible families with children between 12-48 months of age by:
- Helping young children learn new skills and meet individualized goals in the areas of social communication and play; and
- Providing parents or caregivers with therapeutic strategies from professionals to support their child’s development.
3) The Entry to School program is available to young children between three to six years of age prior to starting kindergarten or grade one for the first time.
4) Urgent Response Service is available to eligible children and youth registered in the OAP who have an immediate and urgent need.
- These time-limited services will provide a rapid response to a specific, identified need to prevent further escalation or risk of harm to the child or youth, other people or property.
5) Core Clinical Services are available to families based on the sequential order they registered with the OAP.
OAP core clinical services and supports include:
- applied behaviour analysis,
- speech-language pathology,
- occupational therapy,
- mental health services, including counselling and/or psychotherapy, and
- technology, program materials, and/or therapy equipment at the recommendation of a regulated professional or Board Certified Behaviour Analyst (BCBA).
For more information about OAP Services and Eligibility, see the
The Government of Ontario sets the policies and parameters for eligible core clinical services and supports available through the Ontario Autism Program.
Families can use their OAP funding allocation to purchase eligible services and supports as outlined in OAP Core Clinical Services and Supports Guidelines.
How do I know what services are available through the OAP and which services are right for my child?
Once your child’s information is linked to an AccessOAP account, the programs you may be eligible to receive through the OAP will automatically appear on your family page in the portal. You can also work with a care coordinator who will be available to answer questions and will discuss your service options with you so that you can make informed decisions about the services and supports for your child.
Your family should have received a letter from the Government of Ontario that will require your action. It will include instructions on how to:
- create an account with AccessOAP
- Give consent for the Government to transfer your child’s OAP record to AccessOAP
AccessOAP will invite families to enter core clinical services in the order that they registered for the OAP. Your family will be invited based on the date your child was registered in the OAP.
When your family is invited to enter core clinical services, you will be asked to meet with a care coordinator. Care coordinators will be responsible for guiding your family through the determination of needs process to determine your child’s support needs and associated funding for core clinical services and supports. Care coordinators will complete the determination of needs process with your family at least once annually to reflect your child’s changing support needs.
What is the needs determination process?
The determination of needs process will help determine a child or youth’s level of support needs and associated funding for core clinical services and supports.
Care coordinators will meet with families to discuss their child’s strengths, support needs and priority goals across ten key domains: communication, social interaction, play and leisure, activities of daily living, motor skills, cognitive skills, sensory system, interfering behaviours, mental health and adaptability and resilience.
In addition to the ten domains, care coordinators consider factors such as developmental and life stages, as well as co-existing health and environmental factors.
This process is separate and distinct from the clinical assessment that would be completed by a clinician as the first step of treatment planning and the delivery of core clinical services. Families will work directly with their chosen clinician to develop treatment options and plans for their child.
What do we need to prepare for our needs determination?
The interview focusses on how things have been going for your child / family over the past month or two, so having some notes or stories about recent events is helpful. You can also include recent diagnosis info, other assessments, and input from family, caregivers, therapists, and relevant other people.
When you receive your invitation to the needs determination interview, your Care Coordinator will walk you through what you may want to bring with you and what you can expect.