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Toronto Catholic District School Board

October is Autism Awareness Month  


In Canada, October is Autism Awareness Month.  Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and Autism are both general terms for a group of complex disorders of brain development. These disorders are characterized, in varying degrees, by difficulties in social interaction, verbal and nonverbal communication and repetitive behaviours. Prevalence rates of Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) in Canada are about 1 in 94 children – a ten-fold increase in prevalence in 40 years.

This increase in the number of students with autism has also been observed in the Toronto Catholic District School Board.  There are over 1,700 students with autism in our schools, making this the third largest exceptionality in the board.
The TCDSB offers a range of programs, services and resources to support students, staff and families. 
Multi-disciplinary staff on the Autism Team are available on a referral basis to help support schools and students in building capacity around best practices.
Connections For Students is an Ontario government initiative, intended to facilitate the transition of children with Autism Spectrum Disorders from Autism Intervention Programs (AIPs) to school. This initiative partners schools boards with AIP providers.
The Program to Assist Social Thinking (PAST) is for students with high functioning Autism. Students are supported through a one-day per week withdrawal program.
Information about resources by Autism Department staff can be found at the Autism Programs and Services webpage.

Visuals and materials for board staff can be accessed at the Autism Team site.


Parent workshops for students transitioning into secondary school and for students transitioning into post-secondary will be offered in October and February.

During the month of October, the following are some of the special events taking place:

A 3 day course focusing on supporting students with ASD is taking place for Kindergarten Teachers.



A group of students with Autism who attend the PAST program will be going to Camp Olympia from October 11th – 13th.  This initiative is being supported by our student leadership team.

The following are some websites that may be of interest for those looking to learn more about autism:
For additional information, please contact Autism Programs and Services at 416-222-8282 ext. 2799
Look forward to information on events being planned in April for World Autism Awareness Day!