Resources for autism spectrum disorder (ASD)

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There are many resources to provide support to children with ASD and their families. This page contains a list of community and online resources for ASD.

Key points

  • Both children with ASD and their families can benefit from financial support, multi-service agencies, behavioural resources, communication resources (speech and language services), sensory and motor services, social and recreation services, family support and respite services, school services, and research opportunities.
  • Some agencies offer more than one type of service.
  • Many agencies have long waiting lists.
  • If you live outside Toronto and do not know where to find similar resources, you can ask agencies listed here to recommend similar local services.

This section details a list of resources. They will be important to consider as a first step in putting supports in place for your child and family. Some of the resources listed may not apply to your situation because children with ASD can vary greatly in terms of their special needs. Over time, you will create your own list based on your child’s specific needs and the area where you live.

ASD Resource Checklist

The resources are grouped into the following categories:

Some agencies offer services from more than one of these categories. When calling an agency, remember to ask about all the services offered. For example, an agency that has parent support groups may also offer behavioural support.

Many of these agencies have long waiting lists for service. Do not be discouraged.

Put your name on all the lists. Call the agencies regularly to find out where you are on their waiting list. Write down all your calls in case you need this information later. A form is provided on the Phone Contact Record page that you can use to record your telephone calls.

Remember, while you are waiting for services, you can start learning about ASD. This can help you begin to work with your child on your own. To feel more able to do this you can:

  • Read about ASD.
  • Talk to other parents in person or online.
  • Use some of the suggestions that you read about.

When you understand a little more and trust yourself, you will find that there is a lot that you can do to help support your child.

Finding local resources

As you may notice, many of the resources listed are in Toronto. If you live outside Toronto and do not know where to find similar resources, we suggest you call the agencies listed here. Ask them where you can find similar services in your area.

Please note that when looking for services and resources in the greater Toronto area, you can always use the""211 Directory. This resource, available by telephone and online, can help you find many programs you might be looking for such as child care, counselling, and health and legal services.

You can call the 211 Ontario Helpline anytime; 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Within Toronto, you can simply dial 211 on your phone.

You can also visit their web site at to search for services yourself. These services are available in various languages. For regions outside of Toronto, including Halton Region, Niagara Region, Simcoe County, Thunder Bay, and Windsor-Essex, you can visit

Another Toronto-based resource is the “Community Resource Directory for Children and Adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) and their Families in Toronto,” which is a book compiled by the School Support Program at Surrey Place Centre.

This community resource directory can be downloaded at

Another document you may find useful is entitled the “First 100 Days Kit” created by Autism Speaks. This is a tool kit to assist families in getting the critical information they need in the first 100 days following an ASD diagnosis.

This resource kit can be downloaded at

Virtual care services for children are available through Boomerang Health. Boomerang Health was opened by SickKids to provide communities in Ontario with greater access to community-based services for children and adolescents. For more information on virtual care services in Ontario to support autism, visit Boomerang Health powered by SickKids.

Last updated: March 9th 2009