Caregiver-mediated early years programs

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Caregiver-mediated early years programs

Kinark Autism Services is pleased to be delivering caregiver-mediated early years programs through the York Simcoe Autism Network (YSAN)

Caregiver-mediated early years (CMEY) programs are offered through the Ontario Autism Program (OAP) and support families with young children between the ages of 12 months to 48 months (4 years). These programs help young children learn new skills and meet individualized goals.

To access CMEY programs, families must be invited to participate through the Ontario Autism Program (OAP). If your child is not registered with the OAP, click here to get started.

Through these programs, parents and caregivers learn therapeutic strategies and specific techniques from professionals based on their child’s individual needs. The programs aim to build parents’ and caregivers’ capacity to support their child’s skill development in:

  • social interaction
  • play
  • communication
  • emotional development
  • adaptive development and self-help skills

The programs are play-based, child-led and developmentally appropriate. Programs are free of charge and available for up to six months per child. For more information about the OAP and the caregiver-mediated early years programs, you can visit the government’s website here.


Kinark is now delivering Pivotal Response Treatment (PRT) in York Region and Simcoe County.

Pivotal Response Treatment

Pivotal Response Treatment (PRT) is an evidence-based treatment for young children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) that uses your child’s interests to build their motivation, language, as well as social and play skills. Over 12 weeks of individualized coaching, caregivers will use the skills they have learned throughout all parts of their day to improve how they interact with their child. 

Benefits of PRT include:

  • Greater parent engagement with their child
  • Improved understanding of what motivates your child to learn
  • Reduction in challenging behaviours
  • Increased play skills
  • Improved communication skills
  • Greater interest in social interactions
  • Strategies for using reinforcement to build your child’s skills

Caregivers will participate in an introductory session followed by weekly one-to-one coaching sessions with a PRT clinician. Sessions may be held at a community treatment centre, the program office, the family home, or virtually. At the conclusion of PRT, caregivers will be provided with a summary of their child’s progress and recommendations for next steps.

If you have received an invitation to participate in PRT, you can register for the program through the YSAN website here.

Who is eligible? 

Children who have a diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), have registered with the OAP, and are aged 12 to 48 months (4 years) at the start of intervention are eligible. Children must be registered with the Ontario Autism Program (OAP).  To register your child with the OAP, click here.

About YSAN

The York Simcoe Autism Network (YSAN) is a group of organizations providing autism services within York Region and Simcoe County. These organizations are committed to working together to provide accessible, high-quality services that result in improved outcomes for children and youth with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and their families. To learn more about YSAN, visit their website here.


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