Specialized Services

Who receives Specialized Services:

  • Specialized Services are funded through Family Support for Children with Disabilities (FSCD) and are intended to support families of children with severe disabilities. In order to access Specialized Services at the Centre for Autism Services Alberta, children require a documented diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder or a query of autism and they need to qualify under FSCD's funding criteria. Children may qualify for Specialized Services' funding up to the age of 18.
  • If you already have a documented diagnosis of autism or a query of autism, your next step is to contact Family Services for Children with Disabilities (FSCD.) Its intake number is 780-644-1636. They will provide you with the information you need to access Specialized Services funding or assist you with developing a plan to support your family. This typically involves an interview, a home visit and review of available reports about your child. You may be interested in FSCD's Specialized Services video
  • Once funding for Specialized Services is in place, the Centre for Autism Services Alberta is available to begin services with your child and family.
  • It is important to know that FSCD also funds other levels of support for children with disabilities although Specialized Services is required if you need access to a full multi-disciplinary team and interventionist supports for the home environment. By legislation, FSCD cannot fund school-based supports, although for children eligible for PUF funding, the Centre is an approved provider and can provide PUF services in your preschool or daycare (please see PUF below.) 
  • Families are encouraged to contact the Centre when they have a child who has a diagnosis or query of Autism Spectrum Disorder from a recognized practitioner  as we can assist you with identifying programs you may be eligible to participate in, even if you don't have Specialized Services funding.
  • If you do not have documentation stating that your child under six years of age has autism then the Glenrose Hospital's Preschool Assessment Clinic (PAS Clinic) may be able to assist you. You can reach the PAS clinic at 780-735-7906. If your child is older than 6 years of age and has not been diagnosed, please visit a medical doctor, such as your family doctor, for assistance.

Full details of FSCD funding are available on its website: FSCD

Specialized Services Program Overview

Specialized Services is designed to meet the unique needs of children and families severely impacted by autism. Specialized Services can include: speech-language services, occupational therapy, behavioural consultation, psychology consultation, physiotherapy, aide supports and case management services.

Services provided at the Centre focus on increasing family independence, building child skill and to increase family participation in the community. Child goals are developed based on family priorities and the developmental needs of the child and may include increasing communication and socialization skills, behaviour, physical and motor development, cognition and self-help skills and adaptive functioning. Family goals support the family in adapting to a child's specific needs and assist the family in full community participation.Goals must be developmentally appropriate and SS funded programs are delivered differently for certain age groups to reflect this. For example, the Centre provides SS funded services for really young children (18-42 months) in our Infant, Toddler and Preschool program, but also provides social skills groups for teenagers.

Intervention is delivered in a number of environments including the home, Centre and a variety of community sites. A number of teaching methodologies are used, including Pivotal Response Training (PRT), Applied Behavioural Analysis (ABA) and natural and incidental learning strategies. PRT targets pivotal areas of a child's development, such as motivation, self-management and social interaction increasing the possibility of generalized improvements in communication, socialization, play skills and behaviour. PRT is typically implemented in the child's natural environment and parents learn strategies which can be worked into daily routines. PRT is only one of the many interventions practiced by the Centre. Teaching methodologies are always child specific.

Families who are new to Specialized Services will receive parent coaching on PRT for 12 weeks as the first part of their learning. A PRT educator will teach PRT as a foundational set of skills to parents that they can then use with their child. Each family will have child specific objectives and goals, based on input from their multi-disciplinary team that will augment PRT and support all areas of child development. Specialized Services involves the development of a family service plan that includes child, family and aide activities all developed through multi-disciplinary consultation and family priorities.

Smart Technology Place in Families’ Homes – TN ActiveCare System
Every family receiving specialized services at the Centre will be provided with a “smart” device (iPod) to keep in their home. This device will store all of your child’s essential information, including your child’s individual treatment plan. This device assists families and the team to record, monitor, update and change your child’s programming on a regular basis. Accessing a child’s progress in real time allows staff and parents to respond.This technology improves collaboration and communication between a child’s team and families.


Contact: Brenda Feniak, Intake Coordinator
Phone: 780-488-6600 ext 235 

Infant, Toddler and Preschool Services

For information about very young children with autism and intervention, please read our report.








How does my child qualify?

  • Your child must be under 36 months of age at time of application
  • Your child must have a confirmed diagnosis of an Autism Spectrum Disorder
  • Your child must live in the Edmonton region or immediate area
  • Your child meets criteria for specialized services as defined in FSCD legislation (determined as part of the application process)

Based on the specific needs of very young children, the Centre offers adapted Specialized Services to Infant and Toddlers. The Infant and Toddler Program is available to children up to 42 months of age who have a diagnosis of autism and is based on a best practice standard of offering timely services as soon as possible after an autism diagnosis. Many children in this program also go on to qualify for Preschool Unit Funding (PUF) through Alberta Education (see below.) In these situations we will work with your to integrate both funding models into one coordinated plan across home, school and community. 

Infant and Toddler programming offers the same family centered approach that you will find in all of our services, however there is more of a focus on increasing caregiver responsiveness to child cues when the children are really young. This focus expands to increasing child inclusion in the community when a child is developmentally appropriate and is able to manage this type of programming.

How do I get more information about the infant and toddler program?

Contact Dr. Shane Lynch, Clinical Director of Infant and Toddler program
780-488-6600 ext.280
Email: slynch@centreforautism.ab.ca

Early Education Services (PUF) Alberta Education

The Centre for Autism Services Alberta can provide Specialized Services (in home) and Program Unit Funding (PUF) Services (in preschool or day care) for your child. Alberta Education provides PUF to children with special needs between 2 1/2 to 6 years of age. It is available for a maximum of three years. 
The Centre is an approved PUF provider through Alberta Education and can facilitate applications for PUF funding on your behalf. We offer PUF in community preschools and daycares with our professional staff and aides working with your child. A primary purpose of our PUF program is the inclusion of a child with ASD in a local community setting with typically developing peers. Through inclusion opportunities, children develop new and genuine friendships with typically developing peers, who model appropriate behaviours. Children with ASD learn appropriate social, communication and life skills in a natural setting. We strongly recommend that the same professional team provide services in the home (Specialized Services) and at the preschool or day care (PUF) in order that services be integrated.

For more information on Early Education Services (PUF Alberta Education) please click: PUF Services