Estimates indicate that upwards of 7,000 new children seek autism treatment each year in Ontario
October 30, 2023 – Amidst a growing demand from Ontario families for increased access to autism programs and services, Kinark Autism Services, a division of Kinark Child and Family Services, today announced the opening of two new centres and expanded access to a wide range of programs and services, including home-based and virtual care, to help address immediate needs for children and families living with autism.
The Ontario autism community is facing a critical moment with far more people in need than those who are receiving care. Research suggests that upwards of 7,000 new children seek autism services each year in the province of Ontario. Armed with its expert-led and evidence-based programming, Kinark is committed to scaling-up access to its comprehensive services, ultimately increasing its reach in communities across Ontario.
“At Kinark we’re acutely aware of the immense need for autism support in communities across Ontario.” said Melissa Ball, Clinical Director, Kinark Child and Family Services. “We’re so proud of what we accomplish with children and youth every day, so with two new centres and expanded options for virtual and home-based services, we’re looking forward to growing our community, making new connections, and helping more families who are in need of services achieve their goals.”
In September 2023, Kinark opened its newest centre in Thornhill (1600 Steeles Avenue West), with an additional facility in Etobicoke Centre (5399 Eglinton Avenue West) scheduled to open on November 1. Both provide in-person services during daytime and after-school hours, focused on resources and tools to foster communication, independence, play and social skills, school readiness skills, as well as the reduction of challenging behaviour. With an estimated 13,000 children with ASD in the greater Thornhill and Etobicoke areas, Kinark’s expanded footprint in these regions is a step toward helping alleviate growing local demand.
These two new centres add to Kinark’s presence in Ontario, including locations in Barrie, Oak Ridges, Oshawa, and its flagship Markham location, which includes a Snoezelen® multi-sensory room, a dedicated Occupational Therapy room, and more.
“Kinark is committed to being a part of the picture when it comes to helping to meet the needs of children living with autism in Ontario, and their families. Our renewed focus on scaling-up access to services reinforces Kinark’s goal of providing accessible, flexible, responsive, and family-centred services to communities where there is a clear need,” said Cathy Paul, President and CEO, Kinark Child and Family Services. “We’re very pleased to be able to take these significant steps towards helping children and families across Ontario achieve better life outcomes.”
Recognizing the need for support in more rural and remote regions of the province, Kinark works beyond its group and centre-based care to also provide home-based and secure virtual services. These include multidisciplinary, client-focused assessment and treatment services for children and youth with autism and their families such as Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA) services and coaching, skill building groups, Foundational Family Services, Outdoor Centre and Occupational Therapy, as well as assessment and respite services.
Kinark has been a leading service provider for children and youth with autism and other neurodivergencies for over 20 years. Its programming has helped thousands of children effectively transition into both school environments and adulthood. Kinark’s clinical specialists includes 40 Board Certified Behaviour Analysts and over 50 frontline ABA staff, as well as occupational therapists, psychologists and psychometrists. For more information visit kinarkautismservices.ca.
About Kinark Child and Family Services
Kinark Child and Family Services (Kinark) is a leading provider of services and support for children and youth with complex needs and their families. Our mission is to help children and youth with complex needs achieve better life outcomes. Serving nearly 10,000 children, youth, and families throughout Ontario annually, services are provided in the areas of Autism, Child and Youth Mental Health, and Forensic Mental Health/Youth Justice. We are proud of the high-quality, evidence-based, and individualized services we provide to children and youth and their families. Our team is committed to helping families find the right services and resources available to meet their unique needs to support their development and success. Visit kinarkautismservices.ca to learn more about our wide range of autism programs and services.