Families of autistic children say a revamped Ontario Austim program continues to fail them.

The province had targeted 8,000 children to register last year, but less than 900 have done so.

Kate Logue with the Ontario Autism Coalition says the biggest concern is a lack of communication from the ministry.

“This is directly affecting (parents) ability to know about and access the autism program,” says Logue.

“The Ontario autism program is greatly delayed. It has been over four years, with three different iterations of the program, three different ministers, and yet there is still no one regular source of information about all of the changes that have taken place.”

Logue says they understand the Ministry of Children and Community Services has a difficult job, but they need to communicate with parents.

She says there remains a huge gap between the Ontario Autism Program and the community it is meant to serve.

“The claims of the OAP being a world-class program is insulting. The number of children waiting for autism services in Ontario has more than doubled under Premier Ford, and the waitlist has ballooned to over 60,000 children. Sixty thousand children is absolutely shameful.”

Logue says they need Merrillee Fullerton, the minister responsible, to speak publicly about the program, something she has yet to do.

The Coalition is also asking for policies to be published so families and other cohorts of the program know what to do and when.