The clinical model describes autism, also known as an autism spectrum disorder, as a chronic neurodevelopmental condition that impacts how a person interacts with others and their environment.
It can have an impact on your posture and body language, social interactions, and relationships, how you pursue your hobbies, and your ability to process sensory information. Every culture, ethnicity, race, and gender identity is affected by autism.
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Although the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) is used by the Public Health Agency of Canada to classify autism as a disorder, many autistic people prefer the terms neurological “difference” or “condition,” which do not carry the stigma associated with the word “disorder.”
If you have autism, your brain may function differently from neurotypical people’s brains in how it processes information. Since autism is a spectrum disorder, not every autistic person will experience all the differences listed above to the same extent, and not every autistic person will require the same level of support.
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The presence of co-occurring medical issues in the autistic individual can occasionally have an impact on this. It is also influenced by the environment and society that autistic individuals live in, a society that we all contribute to and live in, as well as by how accessible and relatively safe it is.
Truth About Autism
- Autism is not a sickness or an ailment.
- Autism is permanent.
- Autism cannot be spread.
- Vaccinations do not cause autism.
- Parenting approaches do not contribute to autism.
- Adults still experience autism.
Autism in Canada
The National Autism Spectrum Disorder Surveillance System (NASS) published a prevalence statistic for Canada in March 2018: 1 in 66 Canadian children and youth (ages 5–17) have an Autism Spectrum Disorder diagnosis (ASD).
There are roughly 135,000 autistic people in Ontario, based on the Canadian Medical Association Journal’s estimate that 1–2% of the country’s population falls inside the autism spectrum.
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The prevalence of autism diagnoses in both children and adults is rising as more study is conducted on the connections between autism and race, gender, sexual orientation, and social context. As a result, more information is becoming available online.
In turn, this is increasing the demand on the educational, healthcare, and social service systems and bringing to light glaring gaps in the supports that are available, particularly for adults with autism, those with lower incomes, those living in rural areas, as well as Black, Indigenous, and people of color.
The List of Autism Schools in Canada
Below are some of the best autism schools in Canada. Links are provided to each school’s official website, so you can learn more about the school to find out if it is the best for your child.
PALS Autism Society
With a licensed before- and after-school care program, PALS Autism Society is a special elementary and secondary school in British Columbia for children and teenagers with autism that has been approved as a special education school by the Ministry of Education. To find more information visit: https://palsautismschool.ca/
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New Haven Learning Centre Les and Kae Martin Campus
At New Haven Learning Centre, they maximize each person’s potential and help their family every step of the way to change the lives of all students who have autism spectrum disorder.
They offer a team-based care program using Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) therapy as its cornerstone. They provide top-notch, empirically supported education and therapy programs that are painstakingly created to be as distinctive as the people they serve. Find more information here.
Their first objective is to give children a great education and the chance to flourish at their own pace. Their expert staff is committed to ensuring that your child receives all the assistance required for them to learn to the best of their abilities.
They have a program that will work whether your child is ready for a small school setting or benefits from 1:1 support. Find more information here.
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Autism Center for Kids
With a variety of customized and group programs available at the Autism Therapy and Learning Center, your child with developmental issues can make progress. Their aim is to develop your child to their full potential in a fun, original, and lasting way. Find more information here.
Bright Start Academy Inc
For students in North York, Ontario who need extra help with their academics, communication, social skills, and practical daily life abilities, there is a private school called Bright Start Academy. Both Ontario Certified Teachers and Instructor Therapists with behavioral treatment training are on their staff. Find more information here.
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Autism Therapy & Training Inc.
Chaza Attar created Autism Therapy & Training Inc. in 2010, and it offers young children with autism one-on-one therapy and social skills instruction utilizing the methods and theories of applied behavioral analysis (ABA).
Additionally, they offer on-site training for newly hired instructor therapists and Registered Behavior Technicians (RBTs). They are happy to serve families across the GTA from their location in the center of the city in Woodbridge, Ontario. Find more information here.
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Magnificent Minds Inc. North York
Magnificent Minds Inc. is a collaborative educational setting that supports the mental health and wellness of neuro-divergent children and the families that care for them while maximizing learning.
They have been offering educational and therapeutic programming out of the intersection of behavioral science and mental health services since 2011.
Their unique approach of flexibility, multidisciplinarity, and holistic care sets them apart, and their programs are the ideal environment for learning and development thanks to their extensive understanding of the best techniques in mental health and child development.
By compassionately challenging the existing quo in a way that better supports all children, but especially neurodivergent children and the families who support them, our balanced approach to education and therapy supports our ultimate objective of transforming the landscape of resources that are available. Find more information here.
TACT | The Autism Centre of Toronto
Children in Toronto who have autism spectrum disorder (ASD) are served by the Autism Centre of Toronto, a non-profit organization.
Their goal is to make life better for families with children who have ASD by giving them access to evidence-based care in a welcoming and encouraging learning environment.
Their programs are tailored, efficient, and provide significant results since they are based on the scientific principles of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA). Find more information here.
Elves Special Needs Society – Child Development Centre
For people of all ages who have special needs, such as autism, fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD), down syndrome, and cerebral palsy, the Elves Special Needs Society is a private, non-profit organization that provides school, respite, and day programs. Find more information here.
A therapeutic boarding school with a license, Applewood Academy serves kids who need specialized academic, clinical, and behavior-management support. The therapeutic boarding school setting serves each student’s unique needs and promotes success. Find more information here.
Other top autism schools in Canada and their websites are listed in the table below:
|Edelweiss Private Academy||Website|
|Kenneth Gordon Maplewood School||Website|
|New Heights School & Learning Services||Website|
|Sunshine Learning Centre Inc.||Website|
|The Lighthouse Learning and Development Centre||Website|
|ABA Academy Inc.||Website|
|Calgary Quest School||Website|
|The YMCA Academy||Website|