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early intervention

Early intervention gives your child the chance to achieve their best.  If you have any concerns about your child's development, do not wait

What does Early Intervention mean?  Early Intervention is providing help to a child as soon as a child starts to show the first signs of autism.  

Concerned Parents

If you are concerned about your child's communication, behaviour, and/or social development, it is important to act on those concerns.  See Where to Start below.

If you have private health insurance check to see if a psychologist is covered.  When booking with a private psychologist for a diagnostic assessment make sure they are familiar with diagnosing young children.  Keep in mind that very young children may not be showing signs of repetitive behaviour as that develops later.

The sooner you have your child assessed, the sooner you will know what to do to help your child (autism or not). 

Having a toddler is so tiring that it's nice when your toddler happily plays on their own and you can have a moment to yourself.   

However, at twelve to eighteen months of age, your toddler should be constantly interrupting you.  They should be bringing toys to show you.  They should be glancing at you when someone comes into the room or if there is a loud noise.  They should be responding to their name and calling out for you with a simple 'mama' or 'dada'.  When you point at something, their eyes should follow where you are pointing and they, too, should point when they want something such as a toy or food.

My personal experience was Alex withdrew so gradually we didn't notice right away.  Be aware if your toddler isn't meeting the developmental milestones or starts to respond less and less.  Start interrupting their play and seek professional help.

Where to Start

While the information here is for the Ottawa region, contact an autism organization and ask about similar services in your region.

We highly recommend you get a binder with tabs to help keep all the information straight.  Always ask for the person's name and phone number, which organization they are with and what you can expect to happen at the appointment.  When being offered services, ask how long the wait-time is, what the service will look like (for example with speech therapy, how many sessions will your child receive and how long will each session be). Have your questions ready when you do connect with people.

Contact QuickStart - Early Intervention for Autism at 613.791.3757.  There is also lots of great information on our website.  

Contact the Ottawa Children's Treatment Centre at 613-737-0871, ext. 4425.  Make sure to ask how long it will be before your child will get an Intake appointment and ask how long the wait-time is for a diagnostic assessment.  OCTC has a referral form online that you can print and bring to your doctor should a referral be required.

To have a diagnostic assessment booked sooner have a look at our Info & Resouces page for the names of private psychologists and a Pediatrician (OHIP).  There is a fee for private psychologists which can be covered through private health care insurance.  There is no charge for an OHIP doctor (referral required).

Speak with an Infant Development Worker at one of the Early Year's Centres drop in play groups.  You can also contact First Words and ask for an appointment.  Click here for more information.

Our Next Steps videos are available on our YouTube Channel.  These videos are from a workshop that we filmed and are broken down into short viewing segments.  QuickStart Autism.

Ottawa Autism Roadmap

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