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Healthcare Assignment: Autism Spectrum Disorder Prevalence In Ontario


Task: Please select 1 of the following healthcare assignmenttypes listed below (Article Review or Position Paper) and from each assignment type (article #s or topic #s), select one to complete. To be clear, only submit either one Article Review, or One Position Paper.

Article Review Option:
For each of the articles cited below, review the article in detail, and answer the questions that are provided. Do not hesitate to use other sources to support your writing.
Article 1 (Kanner, 1943): Since the release of Kanner's (1943) article "Autistic Disturbances of Affective Contact", autism spectrum disorder has become far more well understood. How does the modern, DSM-V classification of autism spectrum disorder build on the traits that Kanner described
Article 2 (Berkson, 2004): Berkson (2004) described the lack of certainty around how people with developmental disabilities were viewed and treated in ancient times. Identify why this uncertainty may exist, and describe any myths that may be commonplace in terms of how it may be the case that persons with developmental disabilities may have actually been treated better in antiquity than in the last two centuries.

Article 3 (Radford, 2011): Radford (2011) outlined moral, ethical, and practical problems with institutions for people with developmental disabilities in Ontario. Describe some of these challenges. What can we learn from these challenges, and how can we avoid making the same mistakes in a post-institutionalization Ontario

Position Paper Option:
Topic 1: People with autism face tremendous challenges with respect to access to services and supports throughout the lifespan in Ontario. What kind of supports should be available to these populations Support your position with evidence from scientific and disability literature.

Topic 2: Intensive Behaviour Intervention (IBI) has been shown to be a very effective in changing developmental trajectories for children. Should access to IBI be covered (e.g. by the healthcare system) If so, what should the parameters around access (age restrictions, length of service, etc.) be Support your position with evidence from scientific and disability literature.

Topic 3: Despite the closure of institutions in Ontario, adults with developmental disabilities still struggle to access services and housing in Ontario. Should some form of institutions be redeveloped in Ontario to meet the needs for housing and access to services Support your position with evidence from scientific and disability literature.


Individuals having Autism Spectrum Disorder exhibit a range of widespread quirky behavioral attributes, which stem from verbalizing of thoughts, followed by managing anxiety and dealing with groups and changing processes. The healthcare assignmentprovides a synoptic overview of the myriad of difficulties, faced by the children and adults, with ASD in respect to the access to services and support programs, throughout the lifespan. The findings show,the existence of ASD, among the people of Ontario account to an estimated number of 70,000 people, which includes 50,000 of them as adults.

The report offers the key derivatives and proposed solutions, from the literature study conducted on the ASD prevalence in Ontario and explore the impacts of lack of access to the services and support systems throughout the lifespan in Ontario, in order to address the relative challenges. The study shall include the target population as both adults and children, with a special focus on critically evaluating the policies of the country in resolving the issue and the lack of access to the services and support systems for this specified target population.

The recommendations would include ensuring sufficient and regulated services for the ASD patients , followed by implementing a proper eligibility criteria to services for children and adults with ASD, based on the functional and relative needs and facilitate the best practices to education and social activities for the people, with ASD in Ontario, in a cost-effective manner, and make it accessible and affordable for the people of Ontario, Canada.

Problem statement
The problem statement of the study is identified in the lack of adequate access to the support and services for the ASD patients, including both adults and children. According to the Canadian culture, the condition of ASD is often considered to be associated with children, and the importance of an early detection of childhood autism is needed to avoid future complications (Penner et al. 2017). However, reports show that in Ontario, alone within an estimated number of 70,000 ASD cases, 50,000 are adults, and the remaining include children and the seniors (Ontario, 2016). Nonetheless, these sections of the population are unable to have a comprehensive access to the services and support programs for ASD, due to lack of adequately developed policies, lack of support from the government and NGOs and cost of services, which at times becomes difficult for the clients to avail. Therefore, the implications of lack of adequate access to services and support systems form the Ontario government and state policies, lead to lifetime challenges for these specific section of the population (Maich& Hall, 2016). Thus, it is important for the support organizations in Ontario to address these challenges and ensure an easy and adequate access to the support programs , for enabling the ASD patient, live like any other person in the society.

Country policy
Autism Spectrum Disorder in Ontario, Canada

Persistent debate over the autism policy, as included by the Canadian government has always been under the radar or criticism. However, the conflict rises across the fundamentals of encompassing an ongoing conflict that hovers over the elements of determining the escalation, the concerned parents and families of the parents of ASD, lead to successive entrenching complications to encourage early intervention from the applications of the relative policies (Pepper, 2016). Facing an intense criticism from the media and an ongoing scrutiny from the guardians and families of the ASD patients, questions have been raised on the consistency of the Canadian Federalism. For instance, the Nova Scotia helps in providing a consistent public intervention services to all young children and the adults in regards to the delays between the diagnosis and access to the support programs and services (Gentles et al.2019). Additionally, it has been found that while trying to the find the relevant support programs and services for the target group, there are lack of adequate access and services to the groups (van Rensburg & Gower, 2020). In some of the provinces of Canada, it is also found that individuals, with greater IQs rating more than 70 are routinely excluded from the state funding and support programs (Gruson-Wood, 2016). The developmental service providers are often seen lacking the optimum knowledge or training to deal with the quirky and complicated needs of the ASD individuals, who are conditioned in the specific health condition (Gentles et al.2020). The below section shall provide an exploration into the fundamentals and intricacies of the ASD policies that are existent in Canada, along with recognizing the challenges and gaps in the same.

Policies and support programs for the ASD patients in Ontario, Canada
Ontario Autism program

The fundamentals of the OAP program include parents and primary caregivers to provide services to the patients, following a feedback to the Ontario government and customize an autism services and support program (Ontario Autism Program, 2021). The programs and services included within the OAP program included the patients, who have received past government provided behavioural services under the support program (Ghaderi & Watson, 2019). Most of the Autistic patients, who have shown up with behavioural complications need to be enrolled within the OAP program, along with considering a significant portion of the patients, to receive the IBI and ABA services (McGuire, 2016). The other inclusions of the OAP program also include development of social skills, communication skills, self-help skills, play skills, behavioural skills, and assistance with academic skills (Ontario Autism Program, 2021). Additionally, it is evident that the OAP program, is structured to help the autistic patients , however, the program needs to be restructured in regards to expanding the services of the OAP program , to ascertain assistance to the autistic patients (Brown et al.2017). Further, the program needs to be flexible, along with including a needs-based program, to ensure the ABA professionals, and integrate a utility model (Ip et al.2021).

Community networks for specialized care
The specialized care is considered to be another additional support program for the autistic patients, with the inclusion of new and transformation of the services along with support service programs, allowing the development of an agenda for the autistic patients, who require services (Supporting Students with Autism Spectrum Disorder, 2021). In total four CNSC agencies have been developed, to offer services and coordination across the groups of autistic patients (Penner et al.2018). The primary goal of these network programs include a strengthening of the entire specialized program for developing a community care services, following an increased prevalence of the ASD symptoms and patients.

These networks also include a significant opportunity to leverage the involvement of the Networks and include an emphasis on the principle point of recognizing a partnership with the academic entities to expand anoptimized research program on ASDs and well-positioned on to provide on with the comprehensive multidisciplinary training considering the ASDs (Supporting Students with Autism Spectrum Disorder, 2021)

Use of transfer payment agencies
This program is developed by the Ministry of Community and Social Services (MCSS), to ensure that the autistic adults in Ontario, are supported through a network of 370 community operated service centres (Khanlou et al.2017). These agencies have multiple contracts with as many as 9 MCSE regional offices and are funded by the transfer payment agencies (, 2021). The drive for encouraging this program for transferring the funds, through the payment agencies are specialized in ASD services , especially for people, who belong to the grass root level, in response to the localized needs of the people (, 2021).

The program also includes customized support programs for the people, with ASD symptoms and need services, across various regions on Ontario, Canada. This program allows for the ASD patients, who need financial support from the government and aspire to avail customized services, including support programs and delivery of the required services.

Passport program
This program is designed to pursue competitive employment and emphasis is given on the person-directed planning, to support the choice of customized passport program, encouraging the right direction for the people with ASD, who seek passports for the seekers, who seek higher education (, 2021). This program does not necessarily fit into the developmental services program and engages the people with autism, to participate in the ASD passport making program(Janus et al.2018).

Individualized funding program
The program for individualized funding includes services and support programs in regards to financial services to the autistic patients and people, suffering from ASD (Ontario, 2016). Considering the uniqueness of the ASD program, it needs to be stated that one of the key appropriately developed program to support to person-directed plan for complementing the individualized funding program, must focus on encouraging portable and responsive changes (Minuk, 2021).

This program shall be applied for the individuals, who are diagnosed at an early stage, from children, to move towards adolescence and needs an early detection (Yuen et al.2018). This program shall flow across the concerned families and parents of the ASD patients, with a flexible approach and make the right choices.

Proposed action and solutions
The report has clearly focused on the existence of ASD within the population of Ontario, which includes both adults and children. The implications of having limited access to the services and support systems for the ASD patients is a cause of concern for the concerned families and parents, of the ASD patients in the country. Considering the facts, to be disconcerting, it needs to be stated that the growing costs of healthcare services, along with lack of access to the services and support system and inadequate skills and training of the concerned professionals tend to be a big challenge for the ASD individuals of the country.

Few recommendations are stated below to address the challenges faced by ASD patients in Ontario, considering the lack of access to enough services and support programs. The recommendations include the following aspects:

Recommendation 1: To ensure sufficient and regulated services and support programs for ASD individuals within Ontario, Canada , by allowing them to be a part of the developmental services encouraging unity among diversity, by integrating the Cross-sector policy making.

• To provide financial support to the ASD individuals shall not be tied back to the claw-backs through the implementation of the ODSP, Registered Disability Savings, and welfare programs
• To provide day support services including the vocational and employment services
• To develop and deliver programs devoted towards the monitoring of the well-being and safety of the adults and children , suffering from ASD within Ontario, Canada
• To deliver a range of supported living options to the ASD patients
• To deliver professional supports to the ASD patients, which will include medical , psychological and crisis support Recommendation 2: To implement a standard eligibility criterion for delivering the services and support systems for the ASD patients based on the functional needs and intellectual abilities
• To develop a wider framework for providing the relevant services and support systems for the adults and children, who suffer from based on the functional needs and intellectual abilities of the patients , and enable them to be a part of the social identity
• To develop a cross-sector policy , addressing the needs of the patients of ASD within Ontario , Canada and empower them to act in a stronger and positive way

Recommendation 3: To facilitate a competent access to the services and support programs for the ASD patients, in Ontario, Canada. This would include services, likely mental health, social service, colleges/universities and developmental sectors through a provincial knowledge exchange centre.
• To lead a provincial needs assessment for assessing the condition of ASD within the people of Ontario, Canada
• To guide and govern and disseminate the elements of a competent ASD developmental program and empower research and practice on the same
• To deliver information pertaining to the aspects of specializing in generic or developmental service providers
• To provide information to the families , of the concerned ASD individuals , and enable the people, suffering from ASD to fight the social battle
• To ensure a proper and agile tracking of the deliver and availability of the services to the ASD patients, within Ontario, Canada.

Recommendation 4: Ensuring a strong regulation on the ABA professionals
• Ensure a standard and ethical treatment perspectives on engaging a powerful treatment for the clients , with the ABA professionals to be competently regulated and trained
• Setting the standards for the practice for profession and investigating complaints about the members of the concerned profession and disciplining them

Recommendation 5: Encouraging a direct billing to the regulated health professionals for all the concerned services with reduced wait times and continued attention to the required clients

• The therapies, concerned shall be determined by interdisciplinary expert committee that takes into account in the best way for the concerned patients and their families
• Irrespective of the funding from the ministry, there should not be any kind of waiting list to the eligible list of patients, for ensuring a proper funding for the clients ,

In light of the above discussion, it is evident that the current framework of addressing the ASD challenges within the people of Ontario does not seem to be enough to suit the needs. The existing framework of dealing with the ASD disorders is quite obvious not to care much about the complex nature of the ASD complications and issues faced by the people of the country. The ongoing needs of the adults and the children are often left unattended, due to the lack of adequate access to the services and support programs. Critically, evaluating the policies and programs, it is evident that in most of the cases, the policies and programs are inadequately designed or lacks the ability to provide adequate access to the ASD patients and may also have limited numbers of actually trained and skilled staffs to address the challenges.

Hence, based on the evaluation and study, the recommendations suggested through the position paper are based on a three-pronged approach. The recommendations shall include ensuring a sufficient and regulated ASD services and support programs for the adults and the children in Ontario, followed by implementing a standard eligibility criteria to services for adults with ASD, based on the functional needs and intellectual abilities and finally, addressing the intricacies of the programs, by facilitating the best and highest access to education and social activities to the ASD patients, in a cost-effective manner.

(2021). Retrieved 9 October 2021, from
(2021). Retrieved 9 October 2021, from

Brown, H. K., Ray, J. G., Wilton, A. S., Lunsky, Y., Gomes, T., &Vigod, S. N. (2017). Association between serotonergic antidepressant use during pregnancy and autism spectrum disorder in children. Jama, 317(15), 1544-1552.
Gentles, S. J., Nicholas, D. B., Jack, S. M., McKibbon, K. A., &Szatmari, P. (2020). Coming to understand the child has autism: A process illustrating parents’ evolving readiness for engaging in care. Autism, 24(2), 470-483.
Gentles, S. J., Nicholas, D. B., Jack, S. M., McKibbon, K. A., &Szatmari, P. (2019). Parent engagement in autism-related care: a qualitative grounded theory study. Health Psychology and Behavioral Medicine, 7(1), 1-18.
Ghaderi, G., & Watson, S. L. (2019). Autism Spectrum Disorder Knowledge, Training and Experience: Ontario Physicians' Perspectives About What Helps and What Does Not. Journal on Developmental Disabilities, 24(2), 51-60.
Gruson-Wood, J. F. (2016). Autism, expert discourses, and subjectification: A critical examination of applied behavioural therapies. Studies in Social Justice, 10(1), 38-58.
Ip, A., Dupuis, A., Anagnostou, E., Loh, A., Dodds, T., Munoz, A., & Smile, S. (2021). General paediatric practice in autism spectrum disorder screening in Ontario, Canada: Opportunities for improvement. Paediatrics & Child Health, 26(1), e33-e38.
Janus, M., Mauti, E., Horner, M., Duku, E., Siddiqua, A., & Davies, S. (2018). Behavior profiles of children with autism spectrum disorder in kindergarten: Comparison with other developmental disabilities and typically developing children. Autism Research, 11(3), 410-420.
Khanlou, N., Haque, N., Mustafa, N., Vazquez, L. M., Mantini, A., & Weiss, J. (2017). Access barriers to services by immigrant mothers of children with autism in Canada. International Journal of Mental Health and Addiction, 15(2), 239-259.
Maich, K., & Hall, C. (2016). Autism spectrum disorder in the Ontario context: An introduction. Canadian Scholars’ Press.
McGuire, A. (2016). War on autism: On the cultural logic of normative violence. University of Michigan Press.
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Pepper, J. M. (2016). Families raising children with FASD and autism in Ontario (Doctoral dissertation, Laurentian University of Sudbury).
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van Rensburg, J., & Gower, M. (2020). Autistics' Perspectives of Autism Funding in Ontario (Doctoral dissertation, Carleton University).
Yuen, T., Penner, M., Carter, M. T., Szatmari, P., & Ungar, W. J. (2018). Assessing the accuracy of the Modified Checklist for Autism in Toddlers: a systematic review and meta analysis. Developmental Medicine & Child Neurology, 60(11), 1093-1100.


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