Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASDs) show delays in communication and social interaction and display unusual patterns of behaviours, activities and interests.
ASDs usually appear during the first three years of life. Although we have not discovered the true causes of ASDs, scientists have found a genetic basis. This suggests it may run in families, but there is still a lot to learn about other possible causes.
1. Individualized Funding
As announced in the 2021-22 Budget, up to $8,000 is available annually for children under the age of six with an ASD diagnosis and up to $6,000 is available annually for children six to 11 with an ASD diagnosis.
Individualized funding provides parents with funding to purchase services that best suit their child's individual needs. This will give parents the flexibility and freedom to choose from a range of eligible therapeutic interventions and supports that will most benefit their child. Download the Eligible Services List.
Only children up to age 11 who have been diagnosed with ASD are eligible for Autism Spectrum Disorder-Individualized Funding (ASD-IF). Out-of-province diagnoses will need to be reviewed and confirmed by the Saskatchewan Health Authority. If you think your child may have ASD, contact an ASD consultant in the community closest to you.
Online application and renewal submissions are preferred and will expedite the review process.
If you have questions, please contact the Ministry of Social Services at 1‑833‑304‑1774 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Other forms you may require if you download the PDF application:
If your or your child's circumstances change, please download and fill out the ASD-IF Change of Circumstance Form.
How to Submit an Expense
Parents and caregivers must submit proof of expenses by clicking the link below.
ASD-IF expense tracking forms you may require:
The Ministry of Health maintains the registry of autism service providers, which allows parents/caregivers of children with ASD to search for services available in their home community (or communities close to them).
Professionals providing services under the ASD IF program are required to be listed on the registry. If you do not see your preferred private service provider listed in the registry, or if you are a private service provider who would like to be listed, contact email@example.com for more information. Private service providers can also submit an application to be listed in the registry.
Note: The private service providers listed on the registry operate as private businesses and their fees may vary. Parents/caregivers are encouraged to contact providers for their service rates.
Provision of funding for a type of therapy or inclusion of a specific provider on the Registry of Autism Service Providers is not an endorsement of the therapy or provider by the Government of Saskatchewan.
For more information about what services are eligible under the ASD-IF program, download the List of Eligible Services and Expenses.
Download the Alternative Funding list to learn about other funding that is available for services not eligible under the Individualized Funding Program.
Families will receive their first benefit upon approval of their application and future benefits will be paid annually in the month of the anniversary of the original application date so long as the child is under the age of 12.
For more information:
Signs to look for
Early indicators include:
- No babbling (stringing sounds together to make sentences) by 12 months of age.
- No gestures (pointing, waving bye-bye, etc.) by 12 months of age.
- No response to their name by 12 months of age.
- No single words by 16 months of age.
- No two-word spontaneous phrases by 24 months of age.
Difficulties with social interaction:
- May withdraw from others.
- May not seek attention or actively engage with other people.
- May not follow or try pointing to show interest in something.
- May not turn to respond to their name.
- Difficulties in verbal (spoken) and non-verbal (gestures, facial expression, body language) communication. This may range from no speech at all to full sentences that are odd in the way they are spoken or their meaning.
- Speaking style may appear robotic or scripted from TV, repetitive or “echoing,” use of words with no obvious meaning, or use of “giant” words (multiple words used as a single word – “whatisthis”).
- May not start talking until much later than their peers.
Unusual behaviours, interest and activities:
- May have highly specific and focused interests (e.g., obsessions with trains or maps) to the exclusion of other things.
- May be very rigid in routines (taking the same route to school every day, playing with a toy in only one way, resisting schedule changes).
- May show repetitive actions such as hand-flapping, rocking, etc.
If you suspect your child has ASD, contact an ASD Consultant in your area.
An ASD Consultant will complete a screening to determine your child's level of risk for an ASD and link you to services and supports that best meet the needs of your child.
Should your child's level of risk be high for an ASD, the ASD Consultant will make a referral for an assessment and begin development of an individual program plan for your child and family.
A diagnosis is often a multi-step process which may include a psychiatrist, clinical psychologist, neurologist, developmental pediatrician, speech/language pathologist, occupational therapist, teacher and other health professionals.
A variety of ASD services and supports are available to individuals throughout the province.
The Ministry of Education provides support to all children and youth, including children with special needs, through Early Childhood Intervention Programs and/or Boards of Education.The Ministry of Social Services provides flexible funding to people living with cognitive and or intellectual disabilities through the Cognitive Disability Strategy (CDS) and programs offered by Community Living Service Delivery.
The Ministry of Health provides global funding to the Saskatchewan Health Authority for the delivery of health programs and services, including services to the ASD population. In addition, the Ministry of Health offers the Framework and Action Plan for Autism Spectrum Disorders Services in Saskatchewan in communities across the province. This action plan provides evidence-supported intervention options, including behavioural, visual or social strategies through individual programming developed by the client’s service team and family. The action plan builds on and joins with other services available in the community to meet the needs of the clients it services.
Respite/seasonal programming is also available to support children and youth with ASD.
Adult autism diagnosis and assessment services include:
- psychological assessment and diagnosis of adult ASD
- related services including screening, treatment plans, and consultation
|Area contact:||Contact details:|
Central and Northern Saskatchewan
Autism Services of Saskatoon
Regina Mental Health Clinic
Children and Youth
ASD consultants can screen for the possibility of ASD, refer for diagnosis and assessment, and facilitate the development and implementation of a support and/or treatment plan for individuals up to 19 years old.
ASD support workers can implement specific ASD therapy plans under the supervision of an ASD consultant for children who have not yet successfully transitioned to school.
To find an ASD consultant in your area, you can download the ASD Service Directory.
|Other available information and services|
|Autism Resource Centre
Provides year-round services and supports to all young adults diagnosed with autism between the ages of 18 to 35. Adult programming is focused on building independence and critical skills in all ares of life including: employment, living on one's own, life skills, social interactions, and relationship building.
The Autism Resource Centre also provides structured, therapeutic summer programs for children/youth aged 7 to 18 who require one-to one support staff. For those who do not require one-to-one summer camp support, ARC also runs a social skills summer camp for ages 13 to 18 as well as Improv classes for youth and adults in partnership with the Regina Globe Theatre.
|Autism Services of Saskatoon
A Saskatoon-based agency which provides consultation supports, as well as education, referral and advocacy services to parents of children with an autism spectrum disorder. Recreational, social, and summer programming are available to children and adolescents with autism. Adult residential services are available.
|Department of Child & Youth - Psychiatry
Psychiatric assessments at the Royal University Hospital for children with autism spectrum disorders in Saskatoon. Physicians' referrals are required.
|Community Living Service Delivery - Ministry of Social Services
Provides respite subsidy and other support to persons with an intellectual disability.
For more information, check your telephone directory under Government of Saskatchewan, Ministry of Social Services - Community Living Service Delivery.
|Early Childhood Intervention Program (ECIP) - Ministry of Education
Provides home-based services involving parents of children with disabilities or those who are at risk. May also provide advocacy, case management and transition support to centre based programs.
For local contact information, visit the Ministry of Education page.
|Inclusion Saskatchewan (formerly Saskatchewan Association for Community Living
Located in Saskatoon, Inclusion Saskatchewan provides advocacy, public awareness, and assistance with accessing respite resources and employment for persons with an intellectual disability.
|Inclusion Saskatchewan Family Network
Inclusion Saskatchewan provides opportunities for families who live with intellectual disability to connect through phone, e-mail, newsletter, and regional and provincial gatherings.
|Intensive Supports for Students in the pre-K to grade 12 Education System - Ministry of Education
For more information, visit the Ministry of Education page.
|Programs for Kids - Saskatchewan Heath Authority (SHA)
The SHA provides a range of services across the province for children with physical, developmental and cognitive needs. Moms and Kids Health Saskatchewan provides health care for children, while supporting their health and well-being as close to home as possible. For more information, visit SHA Programs for Kids.