First Steps

These are some resources that may be helpful if your child has recently received a diagnosis of autism.

The first steps after receiving a diagnosis of autism:

Step 1:  Apply to the ErinOakKids Centre For Treatment and Development, for the Autism Intervention Program (AIS). This is the program that offers Intensive Behavioural Intervention (IBI) services.
Call: 905‐855‐3557 then press ‘1’ or Toll Free 1‐877‐374‐6625 then press ‘1’. ERINOAK will also provide Wait List strategies.

Step 2:  Apply for Autism Services- ABA Continuum.  Applied Behavioural Analysis (ABA)-based services and supports are available for all children with ASD ages 0-18.  Programs are designed to help develop: Communication, Social Skills Development, Daily Living Skills, and Behaviour Management/Emotional Regulation.   To access ABA services and supports you must register through a centralized intake by calling 1-800-668-6432.

Step 3: Contact the Developmental Services Resource Centre (DSRC) Waterloo Region and ask to speak with an intake worker. They will meet with you to discuss your current goals and needs, and explore services and resources that may be of assistance to you.
Phone: 519-741-1121; Cambridge line: 519-622-3699

Step 4:  Apply for Special Services at Home (SSAH) through Extend-A-Family. This program provides funding to help families pay for special services in or outside of the home (e.g. respite).  Call Denise, the intake worker at 519-741-0190 ext. 228.

Step 5:  Apply for the Disability Tax Credit. This allows you to access tax credits for taxes paid in previous years and ongoing. You may be entitled to a tax refund for past years. You need to complete an application form which can be downloaded on line at

Step 6:  Apply for Assistance for Children with Severe Disabilities (ACSD). This is an income-based program and eligibility is determined based on your family income. Call the ACSD intake worker at 519-886-4700 to request an application form.

Step 7:  Call KidsAbility if you have questions about eligibility for services (e.g. speech-language, occupational therapy, social work).
Phone: 519‐886‐8886, Toll Free 1‐888‐372‐2259. Extension 1214.

Step 8:  For peer‐to‐peer support connect with the Waterloo Region Family Network (WRFN) to connect to other families who have a child with special needs.  They also have a Family Resource Coach to help families find resources in our community.  Phone: 519.886.9150 or email:

Step 9:  Get connected to the Autism Spectrum Connection at for information, resources, and support from professionals and other families.