Canada's Original Think Tank

April 2, 2014 — Autism

April 2, 2014 — Autism

April 2, 2014 — Autism

We are opening our Caucus doors to Canadians. Each Open Caucus will provide an opportunity to learn, discuss and debate issues of national importance.


Our April 2 meeting was about autism.

In March 2007, the Standing Senate Committee on Social Affairs, Science and Technology releasedPay Now or Pay Later: Autism Families in Crisis, one of the first and fullest accounts of the real-life challenges of Canadian families impacted by autism spectrum disorders (ASDS). At that time, the estimated rate of ASD diagnoses in Canada was one in 166 children. The report positioned the disorder as a health crisis and, among several strong recommendations, highlighted the need for a comprehensive national ASD strategy.

Today, the autism rate in this country is estimated to be one in 88. Tens of millions of people worldwide have autism. One in 10 people with autism cannot speak. Four out of five autistic adults depend on their parents. Nine out of 10 don’t have a regular job.

Canada’s autism community is comprised of exceptionally determined and knowledgeable people. Their dedication is rooted in the plight of individuals with ASD, and extends to strategic concerns about funding, research and information sharing. The Autism Open Caucus brings together key representatives from this community, including national advocacy, information and referral groups, community-based service providers, federal researchers and others. It is a unique opportunity to learn the latest findings about the disorder, tools for assisting people and the status of the ongoing push for a national ASD strategy.

Speakers included:


This meeting was held:

Wedensday April 2nd, 2014
9:30 am – 11:30 am
Room 160S, Centre Block on Parliament Hill


Please click here to read the report about this meeting


To listen to the audio of this meeting please choose one of the options below:

Floor feed (English and French)

English only

French only

Supporting Documents

“Pay Now or Pay Later: Autism Families in Crisis,” final report of the Standing Senate Committee on Social Affairs, Science and Technology, March 2007:

Autism Spectrum Disorders statistics and data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention – currently, Canada’s information source for determining national ASD estimates:

Canadian Journal of Psychiatry, 2012, 57 (5), “Services for Adults With an Autism Spectrum Disorder”, Paul T Shattuck, PhD; Anne M Roux, MA; Laura E Hudson, BA; Julie Lounds Taylor, PhD; Matthew J Maenner, PhD; and, Jean-Francois Trani, PhD: