Released on November 18, 2021
Saskatchewan families with children who have Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) will now have access to more services under the Individualized Funding (IF) program.
Eligible services now include life skills programs such as swimming and tutoring, as well as therapeutic day camps and summer programs, and equine therapy in addition to the previously covered services. This announcement comes on the heels of the expansion of IF to include children with ASD age six to 11, announced in July.
"The expansion of eligible services will make a positive impact in the daily lives of children with autism and their families," Health Minister Paul Merriman said. "Children who experience disability deserve the opportunity to learn, grow and thrive in ways best suited to them."
"We've heard from parents and caregivers that they wanted more flexibility in using funding," Social Services Minister Lori Carr said. "We understand each child has their own unique needs, and as part of our person-centred approach to support, expanding eligible services will allow them that flexibility."
Parents are provided funding for therapeutic interventions and family supports that best suit their child's individual needs. An estimated 1,000 families are expected to access IF this year. These new eligible services build on the current approved range of services which includes respite care, therapeutic equipment, and training for parents and caregivers.
In 2021-22, $10.3 million was allocated to provide $8,000 annually per child with ASD up to the age of five, and $6,000 annually per child with ASD from age six to 11.
The application form and eligible services list are available at saskatchewan.ca/autism. A registry of autism service providers is available to assist parents in locating service providers. It includes behavioural consultants, physical therapists, speech pathologists, psychologists, social workers, occupational therapists, swimming instructors, tutors and equine therapists.
Private service providers are encouraged to sign up to be listed on the registry, and can contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information on how to do so.
ASD Individualized Funding is a joint program involving the Ministries of Health, Social Services and Education. It supports the goals of the 10-year Saskatchewan Disability Strategy and Saskatchewan's Early Years Plan. The program supplements a continuum of autism services that continue to be provided in the public system, including autism consultants, support workers and rehabilitation therapists.
Additional information on the program can be found at saskatchewan.ca/autism.
For more information, contact: