School services for autism spectrum disorder (ASD)

PDF download is not available for Arabic and Urdu languages at this time. Please use the browser print function instead

Provides information about the various services that are available in schools for children with autism spectrum disorder. Also provides information about other programs that can be used to help pre-school and school-age children.

Pre-School Services

The City of Toronto's Children, Youth & Parenting Division

Toronto Children, Youth & Parenting provides families of children from birth to nine years of age with detailed information on licensed child care options in Toronto. These include child care centres, specialized nursery programs, and home care arranged through a licensed private home agency. It also provides assistance in placement and care of children with special needs, and a registry of family resource and parent programs. They also administer the child care fee subsidy program for families who need help paying for licensed child care.

If you are a parent, foster parent, or legal guardian, you may qualify for money to help pay for all or part of your child care. It will depend on your income and job. Toronto Children, Youth & Parenting is committed to the inclusion of children with special needs.

For more information, visit

EarlyON centres

EarlyON centres are places where parents and caregivers of children from birth to six years of age can:

  • take part with their children in a range of programs and activities
  • get answers to questions about child development
  • get information about programs and services that are available for young children and their families
  • talk to early years professionals, as well as other parents and caregivers in the community.

To find a centre closest to you, visit

Parenting and Family Literacy Centres

Parenting and Family Literacy Centres are free school-based programs for parents, grandparents, and caregivers with children up to six years of age. They are administered by the Toronto District School Board.

These centres offer a fun, play-based program to support children’s early learning and development. They provide a place for parents to learn and connect with each other. The centres provide opportunities for parents and children to:

  • become familiar with their school
  • establish positive home-school connections
  • participate in a family literacy program that helps children develop and build essential literacy and numeracy skills
  • get information about community resources
  • discuss parenting concerns and seek referrals if necessary
  • borrow multilingual books

For more information, visit:

School-age services

Most school boards have ASD support personnel who will consult with your child’s teacher. Referrals are made by the teacher or principal of the school. Ask your teacher or principal what support your school can offer to students diagnosed with ASD. School boards will require a diagnosis in the child’s Ontario School Record (OSR) and your signature will be needed on the referral form.

Ministry of Education

The Ontario Ministry of Education provides information regarding your child's future education which includes:

  • information about their individual education plan (IEP) if they have one
  • the transitions which may occur whether they are entering the school system for the first time or they change to a new classroom or grade
  • the difference between Applied Behavioural Analysis (ABA) and Intensive Behavioural Intervention (IBI)
  • who to contact if you have questions about your child's education or services and supports for your child

For more information, visit

Toronto District School Board (TDSB) and Toronto Catholic District School Board (TCDSB)

Both the Toronto District School Board and Toronto Catholic District School Board offer a variety of special education services and programming for children with special needs.

Information about these services can be found at the following websites: (TDSB) and (TCDSB).

Information about the Special Education Advisory Committee (SEAC) can also be found on the school board websites. SEACs make recommendations to school boards regarding the development and delivery of special education programs and services for students with special needs, also known as “exceptional students.” They take part in the school board’s annual review of its special education plan and review the budget and financial statements. SEACs also provide important information to parents.

People for Education

People for Education is an independent parent-led organization, working to improve public education in Ontario's English, Catholic, and French schools. Their website provides very useful information to parents written in 15 languages.

For more information, visit

Last updated: March 9th 2009