October is Autism Awareness and Acceptance Month in Canada. Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a neurodevelopmental disorder that includes challenges in language, communication skills, and social interactions combined with restricted and repetitive behaviours, interests or activities. Today, prevalence rates of ASD in Canada are approximately 1 in 66.
An increase in the number of students with ASD has been observed in the Toronto Catholic District School Board (TCDSB). Currently there are over 1,900 students with ASD in our schools, making this the second largest exceptionality in the board.
- Autism Support Team: Multi-disciplinary staff on the Autism Team are available on a referral basis to help support schools and students with building capacity focusing on ABA strategies and promising practices.
- Connections For Students: 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.
- Program to Assist Social Thinking (PAST): PAST is an elementary school program for students diagnosed with Asperger’s, high functioning Autism or Autism level 1 for students who meet the admission criteria.
- Resources: Information about resources available through the Autism Department and allied community organizations are available on our Resources page. Resources and materials for board staff can be accessed through the board’s intranet TCDSB Autism Services Team Site (login required).
- Transition to secondary school: Our Transition to School page gives detailed information on how TCDSB supports students transition to high school and beyond.
- Autism Awareness Day: April 2 is World Autism Awareness Day. TCDSB recognizes Autism Awareness Day every year through various school initiatives.