Helping families access autism services

Sponsored content Nov 17, 2022 Metroland Media

A diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) can leave parents and families in unfamiliar territory, having to deal with a range of emotions that come with the diagnosis, and the challenges that come with figuring out how get the help they need.

Often, getting that help means negotiating their way through a complex and unfamiliar system of services and providers. It means being unsure of whether a service is right for their child; it means possibly having different services from different providers. It means perhaps not ever feeling confident that the choices they have made make sense for them and their family.

The York Simcoe Autism Network (YSAN) was established in 2021 to integrate services from many providers, offering seamless services for children with autism spectrum disorder in York and Simcoe regions. The network’s goal is to offer individualized, family-centred support through a single entry point. The network supports families through their journey, helping them access high-quality, evidenced-based, individualized services and improve outcomes for their children with ASD up to age 18.

“The York Simcoe Autism Network came into being when the Ontario government restructured public funding for autism services into a number of program streams. Agencies in York and Simcoe saw an opportunity to knit service streams together to make a more comprehensive and holistic set of supports for families,” explains Cathy Paul, chief executive officer of Kinark Child and Family Services. Kinark is the lead agency of 11 providers that form YSAN.

Researchers and practitioners in the field of autism agree that evidence-based early intervention can significantly improve a child’s development, improving skills acquisition and increasing function into adulthood. Paul points out that older kids also make gains, “but that early intervention window between ages two and four, getting in there at that point, has been shown over and over to really change a child’s trajectory.” For that reason, Paul continues, a goal of the network is to help parents get access to services as soon as possible after diagnosis.

“We want to be able to offer families a very big front door to come in and get access to a broad range of interconnected services and supports. The providers in the network are joined together by a common approach, using common information. We are striving for families to only have to share their story once, and that information be shared among providers, accessed through interconnected services and supports. The network also has very strong links to the local schools and the school boards so that those systems are working together on the family’s behalf.”

Paul wants families to know that the network is there for their children throughout their childhood. Paul explains that as kids with autism get older, there are risks for other complications, such as mental health issues. “We stay with them over that journey, supporting the families through those transitions. The needs of families change as their child develops, and within the network, we are practising our goal of getting families access to the right services throughout that journey, so they aren’t spending time and energy they don’t have trying to connect with those services.

“We also have a good understanding of their eligibility for public funding, so we will help families choose what they can afford, and we will also be offering some innovative programs to help families afford the most intensive interventions when their child will get the most benefit.”

Whether the child is diagnosed through a provincial diagnostic hub or by a physician or other provider, families are entitled to provincial funding, but those can take time to access. “They can come to us and start with free foundational services right away for initial support and for guidance navigating through the system.”

Contact the York Simcoe Autism Network at www.ysanetwork.ca.

The 11 providers that make up the York Simcoe Autism Network are:

Catulpa Community Support Services, Children’s Treatment Network, CLH Developmental Support Services, Empower Simcoe, Kerry’s Place Autism Services, Kinark Child and Family Services, Mackenzie Health, Oak Valley Health, Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre, York Support Services Network, and York Region.

Disclaimer: This content was funded and approved by the advertiser.

 

Helping families access autism services

For parents of children on the autism spectrum the York Simcoe Autism Network integrates services so kids get access to the right services at the right time.

Sponsored content Nov 17, 2022 Metroland Media

A diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) can leave parents and families in unfamiliar territory, having to deal with a range of emotions that come with the diagnosis, and the challenges that come with figuring out how get the help they need.

Often, getting that help means negotiating their way through a complex and unfamiliar system of services and providers. It means being unsure of whether a service is right for their child; it means possibly having different services from different providers. It means perhaps not ever feeling confident that the choices they have made make sense for them and their family.

The York Simcoe Autism Network (YSAN) was established in 2021 to integrate services from many providers, offering seamless services for children with autism spectrum disorder in York and Simcoe regions. The network’s goal is to offer individualized, family-centred support through a single entry point. The network supports families through their journey, helping them access high-quality, evidenced-based, individualized services and improve outcomes for their children with ASD up to age 18.

“The York Simcoe Autism Network came into being when the Ontario government restructured public funding for autism services into a number of program streams. Agencies in York and Simcoe saw an opportunity to knit service streams together to make a more comprehensive and holistic set of supports for families,” explains Cathy Paul, chief executive officer of Kinark Child and Family Services. Kinark is the lead agency of 11 providers that form YSAN.

Researchers and practitioners in the field of autism agree that evidence-based early intervention can significantly improve a child’s development, improving skills acquisition and increasing function into adulthood. Paul points out that older kids also make gains, “but that early intervention window between ages two and four, getting in there at that point, has been shown over and over to really change a child’s trajectory.” For that reason, Paul continues, a goal of the network is to help parents get access to services as soon as possible after diagnosis.

“We want to be able to offer families a very big front door to come in and get access to a broad range of interconnected services and supports. The providers in the network are joined together by a common approach, using common information. We are striving for families to only have to share their story once, and that information be shared among providers, accessed through interconnected services and supports. The network also has very strong links to the local schools and the school boards so that those systems are working together on the family’s behalf.”

Paul wants families to know that the network is there for their children throughout their childhood. Paul explains that as kids with autism get older, there are risks for other complications, such as mental health issues. “We stay with them over that journey, supporting the families through those transitions. The needs of families change as their child develops, and within the network, we are practising our goal of getting families access to the right services throughout that journey, so they aren’t spending time and energy they don’t have trying to connect with those services.

“We also have a good understanding of their eligibility for public funding, so we will help families choose what they can afford, and we will also be offering some innovative programs to help families afford the most intensive interventions when their child will get the most benefit.”

Whether the child is diagnosed through a provincial diagnostic hub or by a physician or other provider, families are entitled to provincial funding, but those can take time to access. “They can come to us and start with free foundational services right away for initial support and for guidance navigating through the system.”

Contact the York Simcoe Autism Network at www.ysanetwork.ca.

The 11 providers that make up the York Simcoe Autism Network are:

Catulpa Community Support Services, Children’s Treatment Network, CLH Developmental Support Services, Empower Simcoe, Kerry’s Place Autism Services, Kinark Child and Family Services, Mackenzie Health, Oak Valley Health, Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre, York Support Services Network, and York Region.

Disclaimer: This content was funded and approved by the advertiser.

 

Helping families access autism services

For parents of children on the autism spectrum the York Simcoe Autism Network integrates services so kids get access to the right services at the right time.

Sponsored content Nov 17, 2022 Metroland Media

A diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) can leave parents and families in unfamiliar territory, having to deal with a range of emotions that come with the diagnosis, and the challenges that come with figuring out how get the help they need.

Often, getting that help means negotiating their way through a complex and unfamiliar system of services and providers. It means being unsure of whether a service is right for their child; it means possibly having different services from different providers. It means perhaps not ever feeling confident that the choices they have made make sense for them and their family.

The York Simcoe Autism Network (YSAN) was established in 2021 to integrate services from many providers, offering seamless services for children with autism spectrum disorder in York and Simcoe regions. The network’s goal is to offer individualized, family-centred support through a single entry point. The network supports families through their journey, helping them access high-quality, evidenced-based, individualized services and improve outcomes for their children with ASD up to age 18.

“The York Simcoe Autism Network came into being when the Ontario government restructured public funding for autism services into a number of program streams. Agencies in York and Simcoe saw an opportunity to knit service streams together to make a more comprehensive and holistic set of supports for families,” explains Cathy Paul, chief executive officer of Kinark Child and Family Services. Kinark is the lead agency of 11 providers that form YSAN.

Researchers and practitioners in the field of autism agree that evidence-based early intervention can significantly improve a child’s development, improving skills acquisition and increasing function into adulthood. Paul points out that older kids also make gains, “but that early intervention window between ages two and four, getting in there at that point, has been shown over and over to really change a child’s trajectory.” For that reason, Paul continues, a goal of the network is to help parents get access to services as soon as possible after diagnosis.

“We want to be able to offer families a very big front door to come in and get access to a broad range of interconnected services and supports. The providers in the network are joined together by a common approach, using common information. We are striving for families to only have to share their story once, and that information be shared among providers, accessed through interconnected services and supports. The network also has very strong links to the local schools and the school boards so that those systems are working together on the family’s behalf.”

Paul wants families to know that the network is there for their children throughout their childhood. Paul explains that as kids with autism get older, there are risks for other complications, such as mental health issues. “We stay with them over that journey, supporting the families through those transitions. The needs of families change as their child develops, and within the network, we are practising our goal of getting families access to the right services throughout that journey, so they aren’t spending time and energy they don’t have trying to connect with those services.

“We also have a good understanding of their eligibility for public funding, so we will help families choose what they can afford, and we will also be offering some innovative programs to help families afford the most intensive interventions when their child will get the most benefit.”

Whether the child is diagnosed through a provincial diagnostic hub or by a physician or other provider, families are entitled to provincial funding, but those can take time to access. “They can come to us and start with free foundational services right away for initial support and for guidance navigating through the system.”

Contact the York Simcoe Autism Network at www.ysanetwork.ca.

The 11 providers that make up the York Simcoe Autism Network are:

Catulpa Community Support Services, Children’s Treatment Network, CLH Developmental Support Services, Empower Simcoe, Kerry’s Place Autism Services, Kinark Child and Family Services, Mackenzie Health, Oak Valley Health, Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre, York Support Services Network, and York Region.

Disclaimer: This content was funded and approved by the advertiser.