The province says it will overhaul autism support programs in a bid to clear wait lists

Ontario is overhauling its autism program in an attempt to clear a waiting list of 23 000 children.

The changes announced today by children, community and social services minister Lisa Macleod gives funding for treatment directly to families instead of regional service providers.

Macleod says the amount of funding will depend on the length of time a child will be in the program, and support will be targeted to lower and middle-income families.

A child entering the program at age two would be eligible to receive up to $140 000 for treatment, while a child entering the program at age seven would receive up to $55 000.

The tory government says families on the waiting list can expect to receive funding within the next 18 months.

Some families and advocates say the backlog will be eliminated at the expense of the amount and quality of treatment. Diana Weeks sat down with one of those families today in Burlington.


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