Giant Steps is a therapy centre that builds the skills and abilities of children with autism through specialized, evidence-based therapies and life skills programming

About Giant Steps

ABOUT US

Established in 1994 by parents of children with autism and educators and modelled on the Giant Steps program in Montreal, Giant Steps Toronto/York Region is a therapy centre for elementary-school aged children with Autism Spectrum Disorder. 

A registered charitable organization, Giant Steps is governed by a volunteer Board of Directors with representation from the business community and families living with autism.

Giant Steps is committed to evidence-based learning and is built around 3 core therapies – behaviour, occupational and speech therapies, and a curriculum developed around the Essential for Living model.

With our move to a new location in Unionville, we will be re-opening our doors in October 2021 with a renewed commitment to enabling kids to gain new skills and abilities, navigate the challenges of autism and feel valued and included.

Our Mission

Through individualized, evidence-based therapies and programs, Giant Steps advances the growth and development of children with Autism Spectrum Disorder and enables their enhanced participation in family, school and community life.

Our Values

We value each child and their whole being.
By extension, we value:
• respect
• diversity and inclusion
• quality service and safety
• evidence-based research and practice

Our Vision

Giant Steps recognizes and celebrates the strengths, the individuality and the potential of every child we serve. 

With personalized, goal-directed and evidence-based programming, children with autism will gain new skills and abilities in many areas of growth and development, expanding their meaningful participation in families, schools and communities and their potential to become valued, contributing citizens.

OUR APPROACH

At Giant Steps, we are passionate about improving the lives of children with Autism Spectrum Disorder and their families. We believe that a comprehensive, data-driven approach of direct therapies and life skill programming best meets the complex learning needs of children with ASD. Children participate in individualized therapy and skill development programs based on detailed therapy plans, the child’s academic and life skill goals, and frequent clinical reviews.

Our team consists of a Clinical Director, a Speech & Language Pathologist, a registered Occupational Therapist, registered BCBA, RBT and Behaviour Therapists, and Therapy Assistants.

Our therapists are highly experienced in working with children with autism. Using a wide array of best practices, they deliver 3 core therapy programs – speech, behaviour, and occupational therapies. Play, social, and daily living skill development is incorporated into each child’s programming. Each child receives 1 hour of direct therapy/week in each of the 3 disciplines.

In addition to their 3 weekly therapy sessions, children work with our Therapy Assistants on a 2:1 child to staff ratio. Thematic daily activities are based on the Essential for Living (EFL) communication, behaviour and functional skills curriculum. Visit Our Programs for more details.

Families are important partners in all aspects of their child’s program, working with our team to establish and modify therapy plans and foster the generalization of therapeutic strategies to all settings.

Programming is scheduled in a unique way to enable families to opt for inclusion in local schools in the mornings and participation in our therapy and skill development programs at Giant Steps in the afternoons and after-school hours.


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