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 3-14 year old 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.

Committed to evidence-based learning, Giant Steps is a coordinated program of behaviour, occupational and speech therapies, and a life skills curriculum based on the Essential for Living model.

We are dedicated to enabling kids to gain new skills and abilities, navigate the challenges of autism and feel valued and included.

Giant Steps is located in an elementary school in a residential area adjacent to parkland. Our autism resource‐rich centre includes specialized technology, dedicated work, play and therapy areas and direct access to a large gym with sports/physical education equipment, an outdoor playground and walking trails.

Our mission

Giant Steps builds the skills and abilities of children with autism and fosters their growth and development through personalized, evidence-based therapies and life skills programming

Our vision

With individualized, evidence-based and multi-disciplinary therapies, children with autism will participate meaningfully in their families, schools and communities, feel valued and included, and become contributing citizens as adults

Our values

We celebrate
The strengths, the individuality and the potential of every child
We collaborate
With families on program plans, evaluation and generalization of learned skills to home and other environments
We provide
Personalized, evidence-based programming and a safe, supportive and resource-rich learning environment
In a coordinated, multi-disciplinary approach and evidence-based, goal-directed programming
To incorporate the values of respect, diversity, equity and inclusion in all we do

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. Families are valued partners and integral to the success of our programs (read more about the Role of Families). 

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

Children at Giant Steps participate in 3 core therapy programs including ABA services, speech therapy and occupational therapy. Working together and using a wide array of best practices, our team addresses each child’s individual needs in every area of growth and development.

Children receive 1 hour of one-on-one direct therapy per week in each of the 3 disciplines. In addition to weekly therapy sessions, children work on their therapy goals with our Therapy Assistants on a 2:1 child to staff ratio to cement learning and foster generalization of skills.

Our Therapy Assistants also deliver the Essential for Living (EFL) communication, behaviour and functional skills curriculum to our kids. These skills include functional communication and behaviour skills, play/social skills, and activities of daily living such as toileting, eating and dressing.

Giant Steps delivers these comprehensive therapy and life skill programs in a full or half day format. Individual therapy services are also available for speech, behaviour and/or occupational therapies. 

More detailed program information is available on the Our Programs page.