The service system is complex, and many people rely on it. When your child reaches adulthood and starts using the system, they will leave behind some—if not all— supports they had as an adolescent. Many services your child receives now won’t continue past age 18 (for example, the Special Services at Home and Assistance for Children with Severe Disabilities). There are different services for people 18 and over, such as the Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP).

Prepare to start this process yourself. Don’t wait for the education system or service providers to create a plan for your child. Don’t assume the service system will support your child once they turn 21. It’s up to you to create your child’s future.

Learn about services for adults. Know what services you can keep and what new services are available. Use what you find out in your planning process.

You may be able to use mainstream community services. While your child is in the education system, look at the Board of Education’s public programs. Although most courses are for adults, some programs are available to younger people. Taking part can help build your child’s self-reliance and interests.

Make connections in your community. It’s never too early—or too late—for your child to take recreation programs. Sign up for swimming lessons, craft programs, or library groups. Join appropriate faith groups. These activities link you to the community and build networks.

Connect with other parents and use their knowledge of the system to help you. Teachers also have valuable information about what worked for other parents.

This section of the website allows you to check out resources and services available in your community. This is not a complete list, but it does give you a starting place and links to other resource listings. Don’t be afraid to try something new. During this time in your child’s life, you need to give them many experiences to find out what they like and don’t like. They need to find out what works for them. Trying new things will help them experience the world, become familiar with their community, and help them be a part of it as they grow into adults.

Developmental Services Ontario – Central West Region does not endorse or recommend any services. All information provided in this website is provided for information purposes only. As with any other service you seek, it is incumbent upon you, the users of this online resource, to conduct the appropriate screening before pursuing assistance.

Developmental Services Ontario – Central West Region neither endorses, has any responsibility for, nor exercises control over the views of any organization nor the accuracy of the information provided by any of these organizations. You should also know that some of the programs listed may charge a fee for the services they provide. We suggest calling the program directly for information on services and fees.

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