Getting Ready for School – Ontario Autism Program: Entry to School Program
Is your child between 3 and 6 years old with Autism Spectrum Disorder? Are they about to start kindergarten or grade one?
Have they received a letter from the Ontario Autism Program (OAP) to participate in an Entry to School program? KidsAbility is here to help!
About the Entry to School Program
KidsAbility’s OAP Entry to School program is an up to six-month program designed for children aged 3-6 with Autism Spectrum Disorder who are starting kindergarten or grade one. Our team of Instructor Therapists, overseen by a Board Certified Behaviour Analyst, work collaboratively to create individualized plans focusing on communication, play, social skills, routines, self-regulation, and pre-academics.
With a team that includes Speech and Language Pathologists, Occupational Therapists, and Resource Consultants, the program helps children build essential school readiness skills in a classroom environment.
Our approach is to make learning fun. We break skills into small steps and cheer your child on along the way. Our team will support your family as we work to ensure your child has the skills needed to succeed in school. You will work closely with the Board Certified Behaviour Analyst to set goals that are important to you and your child.
After the group program, we offer transition support for a smooth school entry and consultation services for families and educators for up to six months.
Our Entry to School program helps kids prepare for kindergarten or grade one. It’s a mix of group learning and individualized support. Kids learn important skills they’ll need for school.
- Program is offered in two stages:
- Phase 1: In-Center Group
- Up to 6-months, half-day, in-person group program starting in either the Spring (March/April) or Fall (September/October)
- Runs as either a morning or afternoon session
- Phase 2: Transition Support
- Up to six months of support for families and school-based teams
- Board Certified Behavour Analyst remains available to support your child’s school team to ensure their success in school
- Phase 1: In-Center Group
- Registration is done on a first-come, first-served basis. Access to specific cohorts is not guaranteed and spots will be filled as referrals are made.
- Free of charge
Areas of Focus:
- Communication: such as conversation, expressing wants and needs, understanding words and language, following simple instructions, social communication, and non-verbal communication.
- Play: such as toy exploration and engaging in group play/games.
- Social interaction: such as understanding of social boundaries, interactions with peers, turn-taking and sharing.
- Routines: such as arrival/departure routines, and self-help skills such as dressing and hygiene.
- Behaviour/Self-Management: such as, emotional regulation, tolerating not available and waiting for highly preferred items/activities.
- Learning (pre-academics) and Attention: participating in a group circle time, completing close ended activities, hand raising and responding to name.
Where We Are Located:
- Entry to School is offered at our KidsAbility locations in Cambridge, Kitchener, Guelph, and Waterloo.
Transportation is not provided.
Families must receive an invitation to register for the program.
To participate in the entry to school program, your child must be:
- Registered in the Ontario Autism Program (and have an OAP number)
- Between three to six years old as of December 31 in the year they are starting school
- Starting kindergarten or Grade 1 for the first time
- No history of prior school attendance
If your child is eligible, you will receive an invitation.
You will receive a letter of invitation if you are eligible for the Entry to School program
How to Register:
- Call KidsAbility at: 519-886-8886, ext. 1214.
- Email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
- It’s first-come, first-served.
Please have your child’s Ontario Autism Program number and invitation to register close by.