In this FAQ, we address common questions to help you navigate the referral process, explore available services, and understand the support awaiting you.
Whether you’re concerned about your child’s development, exploring autism assessments, or curious about service costs, find the answers you need here.
Frequently Asked Questions and Answers
KidsAbility provides a variety of services for children and youth from birth to high school exit.
Services and programs have varying age eligibility requirements. Please visit the specific service or program page for more information or speak with our Intake team.
All children develop at different rates in different areas. You can view milestones for speech (speech-language), gross and fine motor skills (occupational therapy) and movement (physiotherapy) below:
Speech-language therapy supports children who have challenges with communication.
Occupational Therapy assists children and youth to develop independence, daily living skills, gross motor, and fine motor skills.
Physiotherapy supports children with physical needs who have challenges with movement.
The majority of the services offered by KidsAbility are publicly funded by Ministry of Children, Community & Social Services (MCCSS). This means that these services will not cost you anything.
Currently, there are fees associated with some of our Behaviour Support Services offerings.
Once children or youth are in school, they may be eligible for School Based Rehabilitation Services (SBRS), offered through KidsAbility.
SBRS provides Speech Therapy, Occupational Therapy and Physiotherapy services to support access to curriculum and participation for clients who attend publicly funded schools.
If your child attends a private school, please contact HCCSS- School Health Support Services | Home and Community Care Support Services (healthcareathome.ca)
Alternatively, you can also access private Speech Therapy outside of KidsAbility. Here is information on how to do so: Private practice handout
Behaviour can be a child’s way of telling us that their needs are not being met and that they may require our support to succeed. Depending on the child’s needs, KidsAbility staff may be able to provide support.
Children with a diagnosis of Autism and are registered with the Ontario Autism Program (OAP) are able to access KidsAbility services through Foundational Family Supports.
Behaviour Support Services, at KidsAbility, offer fee-based behaviour supports.
Additional supports can be accessed through:
KidsAbility, as the regional SmartStart Hub, supports every family that contacts us with concerns about their child’s development. An intake worker will connect with you, even if KidsAbility does not offer the service that you are looking for, to provide you information about other community support options and services.
KidsAbility offers fee-for-service therapy through our Behaviour Support Services of Applied Behaviour Analysis. All other services are funded by the Ministry of Children, Community & Social Services and are currently free.
If you are interested in private practitioners for speech therapy, occupational therapy or physiotherapy, please see our Private Practice handout which outlines how to access private services in the community.
KidsAbility does not provide pyscho-educational assessments. A pyscho-educational assessment are commonly used to identify learning disabilities, Attention Deficit Disorder/Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder(ADD/ADHD) and other mental health concerns..
To find a licenced psychologist or psychiatrist please view a list here: Private practice handout
Please speak to your child’s school principal regarding psycho-educational assessments through the school board.
KidsAbility Social Workers may be able to provide counselling on concerns related to the child’s diagnosis and/or physical disability. Please contact your social worker for more information.
Counselling and/ or mental health supports for concerns unrelated to the child’s development and/or diagnosis can be accessed through Front Door and Camino in Waterloo Region, or CMHA for Guelph-Wellington.
Please see our Private Practice handout which outlines how to access private services in the community.
Visit the Intake Services & Referrals for more information on how to make a referral for a specific service or program.
KidsAbility has an Autism Spectrum Disorder Assessment team. Referrals to this program must be completed by a physician using this referral form. Alternatively, you can speak to a pediatrician or psychologist. Both professions can assess for and diagnose Autism.
Learn more about autism assessments here.
Depending on the type of referral, you will either receive an email confirmation or a phone call within five business days.
You may contact 519-886-8886 ext. 1214 or toll-free at 1-888-372-2259 to confirm that we have received your referral. Please do not re-submit a referral.
Intake Appointment Information
Intake appointments are completed over the phone with the parent/legal guardian and one of our Intake Social Workers. These appointments are usually 30-45 minutes in length to ensure that there is enough time to discuss and address your concerns. An Intake Social Worker will gather basic information as well as ask a series of questions about your child’s overall development. Your child does not need to be present for the appointment, and you do not need to prepare anything beforehand. After gathering this information, the intake worker will let you know what services would be most appropriate for the concerns you have for your child, and next steps for support.
What Happens After Intake
The time between your intake appointment and your child’s therapy assessment can vary. When you finished the Intake process, you should have received an estimated wait time. If you want to check on your status, please refer to the contact details in the welcome letter we sent you via email.
We invite you to visit our Caregiver & Client Supports for information, tools and supports while you wait.
After your Intake appointment, you will receive a Welcome Email, which may include handouts and information from our therapists about strategies and tips that you may utilize at home while you are waiting for your child’s therapy assessment.
We offer online supports through our ThriveTogether Tools and a Resource Centre lending program that you can access at any time.