Ontario is beefing up its supports for families of children on the autism spectrum.

Minister of Children, Todd Smith says funding offered to parents to pay for eligible services and support for their children will be extended. Parents of children on the spectrum will be offered additional payments of either $5,000 or $20,000, based on their child’s age.

Smith adds that in March, about 600 children and youth registered in the Ontario Autism Program will be invited to participate in the launch of a new range of core clinical services. These services will include applied behaviour analysis, speech-language pathology, occupational therapy and mental health supports. Smith says care coordinators are currently being trained to conduct and guide families through the new process.