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(Canada) Ont.: New preschool program to help autistic kids prepare for school

Mar 8, 2023, Sarnia News, London, Ontario: New program helps children with autism transition into school

A new program will help prepare young children with autism for their transition into elementary school.

The school readiness program, at Sarnia’s Holy Trinity Catholic School, is in partnership with Pathways Health Centre for Children.

It’s geared toward kids, three to five years old, who have been diagnosed as on the autism spectrum, are registered in the Ontario Autism Program and entering school for the first time in either Kindergarten or Grade one.

St. Clair Catholic District School Board Superintendent of Education Lisa Demers said without the Entry to School program, children with autism can sometimes have a difficult time adapting to their new surroundings.

“That’s why it’s so critical that the key elements of the Entry to School program build on a child’s strengths within six domains. Those include communication, play, social interaction, functional routines, behavioural self-management, and then some pre-academics. So, that includes some learning and attention skills.”

Beginning this month, 14 children will attend the program for 10 to 15 hours per week. Demers said it begins with a six-month group-based skill-building focus, followed by six months of transition supports as students enter their home school. …


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