If you were not diagnosed by a BCCAN agency (such as Sunny Hill)

What you need to have:

  • Diagnosis Report(s)
    • For under-6 years old, you should have three reports from the psychologist, pediatrician and speech-language pathologist.
    • For those over 6 years old, you should have one report from a psychologist or pediatrician.
  • BCAAN Diagnose Form or Non-BCCAN (Private) Diagnose Form completed by the assessor.
  • Make photocopies and/or scan both.
  • Child’s birth certificate or other formal documentation with their birthdates.
  • Application for Autism Funding (CF0906)
  • Proof of residency (BC address) on the guardian’s ID

MCFD

Fax, mail, or deliver both reports to your local CYSN office.  Some offices will not accept the documents in person, and only by email. Some will only accept faxes and not email.

⏰ The last known waitlist is about 5 weeks before you are assigned a social worker. The start date of the Autism Funding will be backdated to the month you submit the diagnosis, so do submit your document ASAP.

  1. Ask the MCFD office to give or email you the application for autism funding (CF0906) or Fill this out right there and send it in with your reports.
  2. Wait 5 weeks.
  3. You will receive a mail or email notifying you that you have been approved and they will mail you a financial agreement to sign.
  4. Wait 2 weeks.
  5. Sign the financial agreement and send it
  6. Wait 2 weeks.
  7. You will receive a mail or email notifying you that your AFU account has been set up and instructions on setting up the Family Portal.
  8. Then, you can submit a Request to Pay by email or family portal for the specific service providers you wish to hire.
  9. Wait 6-8 weeks.
  10. You will receive a mail or Family portal notification that your service provider is approved.
  11. You can begin receiving service.

Eventually, you will be assigned a social worker who will contact you to schedule an appointment. Before the meeting, you can ask them to:

  • Apply for the at-home program (if diagnosed as level 2 or level 3)
  • Apply for the childcare Subsidy and the Disability Supplement
  • At this meeting, you should ask about:
  • Autism Funding Unit: how much, how it works, family portal.
  • What other resources and support are there

BC Funding has more information and a lot of financial resources for those with autism diagnose. The following are the major ones, but I highly recommended to see the full list there.

Disability Tax Credit

There are already a lot of accessible information on this subject here:

DTC Official Website
ASD Funding Write-up

I will just address common questions and issues that are covered in the links above.

Will my child or the family experience any negative consequences applying for DTC?
Many parents are hesitant about the disability label and worried that “the government” would forever see their child this way. This is not true.  For most autistic people, DTC must be reapplied every 7 years and eligibility is not guaranteed. The “disability” status is also confidential and compartmentalized to the taxation department. However, if you are a permanent resident (PR), it is highly recommended to consult with an immigration consultant who specializes in this area before applying.

My doctor doesn’t know how to fill it or the application was declined.
This is not an easy form to fill properly.  A lot of people misunderstand the use of language.  For example, if a child can technically feed themselves by putting food in their mouth, but cannot do so consistently and requires a lot of adult support and specialized food preparation in order to maintain adequate calorie and nutrition intake.  Parents and doctors may underestimate the level of support needed under “feeding”.  Many people do not recognize that the level of intensive emotional and functional support offered to someone who has the skill but does not have the capacity counts as “requiring support.”

Some predatory companies take a % of the client’s DTC rebate as the payment. This is now illegal.

IS RDSP worth it?
This one is very hard to answer.  Families need to know that if the person loses their DTC disability status, they will also not be able to make any more contributions and the investment income from that point on within the RDSP may be subject to taxation.  However, this tax-saving plan is worth while for many families.  It is best to speak to a financial adviser who specializes in this area.

Preschool or Childcare

BC Centre for Ability’s Supported Child Development Program: If you haven’t done it yet, waitlist for this program which supports children in accessing childcare services such as preschool or out-of-school childcare programs.

You would be assigned a supported childcare consultant who can support the facility in caring for your child. This support can be consultation or can be assigned to a support worker if there are significant needs.  The needs are determined typically by how vulnerable to child is in terms of safety and functioning, but also parent or specialist advocacy can go a long way. 

Some families would combine autism funding unit, supported childcare resources, child care disability supplements to hire an individual support worker to support their child in the daycare or childcare setting.  Care-share is common if there are two autistic children with similar levels of needs and preferences.  Support Worker is costly, so many families opt for private childcare unless the child can benefit from group or social experience.

Elementary and highschool

Step 1: Send a copy of the assessment report to the attending school.

If there is private information about the family you would rather not share with the school, you may redact it from the report, as long as the diagnostic information is present.

Step 2: Schedule a meeting with the principal or the resource teacher to understand what designation G means and what you can access with it.

    • Ask about a timeline of when Designation G would be confirmed
    • Advocate to schedule a longer first IEP meeting and invite your specialists.

Often, school instructs families with autistic children to only attend school for a shorter amount of time due to the lack of staff support. This is actually not allowed as every child has the legal right to full access to education. BCEDACCESS can provide community support, education, and advocacy on the rights of your child.

Distributed Learning

Distributed learning (DL) is accredited learning that does not rely on direct face-to-face communication between students and teachers. If your child is not thriving at school or your school is not providing adequate support, there are a lot of distributed or blended (part-time) learning options nowadays. Another benefit of this option is that you can access additional funding of around $8000 a year with designation G to use towards therapy or other learning supports.

Both Susan and Tracy at Cherish Clinic specializes in designing, impliementing curricula and supporting children with learning differences within the DL pipeline.

 

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