Urgent Response Services

Urgent response services provide support to children with autism to keep themselves from harm as well as their loved ones.

Urgent response services are time-limited and intended to respond rapidly to a specific, urgent need to help stabilize the situation, prevent crisis, and reduce the risk of harm to self, others and/or property. Children and their families can receive up to 12 weeks of personalized services and support. Each child and family will have an Urgent Response Service Coordinator working with them to develop and oversee the service plan. The coordinator will also provide service navigation to other services within or outside the Ontario Autism Program.

Program Details:

  • Short-term consultation with a child intervention team, caregivers and educators  
  • Services and scheduling will be on case-by-case basis
  • Up to 12 weeks of service


  • You have a child between the ages of zero to eighteen
  • Your child has a diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder (ASD)
  • Your child is registered in the Ontario Autism Program (OAP)
  • Your child is showing one of the following high-risk behaviours that have escalated in intensity over the last 14 days:
    • Suicidal ideation or behaviour
    • Violent thinking
    • Fire starting
    • Harm to animals
    • Risk of exploitation
    • Self-injurious behaviour
    • Aggression
    • Inappropriate sexual behaviour
    • Flight risk
    • Property destruction
  • You and your child are not eligible if:
    • You need emergency services. If this is an emergency or someone is in immediate danger or thinking of suicide call 911 or go to your nearest hospital


  • You will receive support from a multidisciplinary team of developmental health professionals
  • Each child and family will have an Urgent Response Services Coordinator working with them to develop and oversee their urgent response service plan

What to Expect: 

  • The first step is to design the service plan for the child and family with an Urgent Response Services coordinator. The coordinator may make referrals at this point to other services outside of the Urgent Response Services that might be helpful to the family.
  • Service elements may be part of the plan as determined by the coordinator and other professionals. The services provided will prevent further escalation of risk of harm to self, others, and/or property.
  • The behavioural intervention is based on a mediator model approach. This means the clinician works with the family to support them in managing the child’s behaviour. The clinician does not provide behavioural intervention directly to the child alone. Therefore, the family needs to be prepared to work actively with the clinician(s) over the 12 weeks to de-escalate the target behaviour.
  • Respite services that are part of the service plan will be time-limited and require the respite provider to participate in the delivery of the intervention plan for the child.
  • Once the plan is implemented, the coordinator will monitor the delivery of services. The coordinator will meet with the family at the end of the six-week period to review the plan and once again before completing the service.


This program is being operated in partnership with the Toronto Autism Services Network (TASN). Please click on the Register Now button to visit the Urgent Response regististration portal.

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