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Ontario overhauls children’s autism services; Wait for intensive therapy will be shorter, but kids over age 5 no longer eligible

Young children with autism will face shorter wait times for intensive therapy covered by the province, but those ages 5 and up will no longer be eligible as part of a revamped Ontario system.

The new autism program, announced Tuesday, aims to cut wait times in half for intensive behavioural intervention (IBI) within two years, and then down to six months by 2021, according to the Ministry of Children and Youth Services.

That’s good news for the many who have been languishing on wait lists — the average is two years but can be as long as four years in regions like Durham — but not for about 900 children with autism who are 5 and over and will no longer have access to the treatment.

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