Pre-school-age children on the autism spectrum and their families will soon have access to a broader range of tailored supports.
The new care model will ensure that families have access to earlier intervention and that they are aware of what services are available, how to access them and who is eligible. Families and service providers will also have access to the education they need to best support the individual needs of each child.
Enhanced services include:
- a single point of access to support for families and children
- the creation of autism spectrum disorder intervention teams that will provide targeted, focused and comprehensive services based on goals and needs identified by families
- a central waitlist for diagnosis, more clinicians dedicated to conducting diagnostic assessments, and training for community physicians to engage in autism diagnosis
- an intensive 12-month intervention program for children identified with the greatest social communication and behaviour needs
- provincewide access to the QuickStart Nova Scotia program for toddlers
- educational resources and programs, including online modules and education sessions for caregivers, families and providers.
The new model was developed in partnership with Autism Nova Scotia, Hearing and Speech Nova Scotia, Nova Scotia Health Authority, IWK Health, the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development, and a representative of families with autistic children. The supports will be rolled out over the next two years.