Ontario to double autism diagnostic funding, attempt to eliminate wait list

Ontario is set to announce changes to its autism program today that will attempt to tackle waiting lists for diagnosis and treatment.

Sources tell The Canadian Press that the changes will include doubling the funding for five diagnostic hubs to $5.5 million a year for the next two years.

There are currently 2,400 children waiting for months on a list to be diagnosed.

There are another 23,000 children on the waiting list for treatment and they can spend years before accessing those supports.

The sources say today's announcement will also include a goal of eliminating that backlog.

Ahead of the announcement, Social Services Minister Lisa MacLeod says on Twitter that Ontario invests $321 million in autism supports each year, but only 8,400 children receive support, while the rest are stuck on wait lists.