Registration FAQ

When can I register my child with autism for Play Groups programs

Anytime. Registration is ongoing depending upon availability. Registration is offered on a first-come, first-served base. Once a program is full, the program is marked so on the website page. Please review the Parent Handbook

What are the fees for the program?

The fees for each program are listed on the corresponding website page. Fees vary depending on the program. The fees are based on the Society’s ability to fund (grant write and fundraise) 2/3 the cost of the programs. Families contribute less than 1/3 the actual cost of the program and are required to use Autism Funding from the Ministry of Children and Family Development or DL Funding from the Ministry of Education to pay the fees. Please review the Parent Handbook

Can I use my child’s Autism Funding?

Yes.  The Society will provide you with a filled out request to pay from upon request. Email our coordinator here.

I am out of Autism Funding can I use next year’s funding?

The Ministry of Children and Family Development is very clear about how and when a service provider may bill for services. Therefore, approvals must start when the program begins. Please read through the Autism Funding Guidelines.

Because of the time required to register players, design programs, materials and purchase goods the Society invoices for 2 hours of time for every one-hour session. Therefore, funding is invoiced at the beginning of the program. The Society covers the cost of programs in the later part of the program.

Invoicing for in-person Play Groups programs.

Fall Term September to December – $1000 invoiced in September and $1200 invoiced in October.

Spring Term April to June – $1000 invoiced in April and $1200 invoiced in May.

Please review the Parent Handbook

Can we get makeup sessions when programs are canceled due to weather or illness or group suspension due to outbreaks?

No. We have strict a strict no refund, cancellation or session makeup policy.  Given the nature of the programs and the time and financial commitment to the Society to deliver the programs, we do not offer any makeup sessions, refunds or cancellations. Please review the Parent Handbook

Can I cancel the program once I have registered my novice player (child with autism)?

No. Once the program is confirmed we do not accept cancellations. Given the nature of the programs and the time and financial commitment to the Society to deliver the programs, we do not offer any makeup sessions, refunds or cancellations. Please review the Parent Handbook

I would like to register my child, but I am worried about infection due to COVID-19

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic the Society has taken the following measures to ensure the health and wellness of children, families, staff and the community.

  • Offering more online play groups programs for children ages 7 and up
  • Shortening the weeks of each program to offer more families the opportunity to attend in-person programs
  • Offering single-family in-person play groups only (one child with autism and one or two sibling groups only)
  • Spacing in-person play groups sessions apart by at least 90 minutes for cleaning between groups
  • Reducing the number of adults (play guides) in the play centre
  • Checking temperatures at the door
  • No adults, family members or others permitted in the play centre
  • All staff wearing PPE
  • Reducing surface contact – removing unnecessary equipment in the play centre
  • Strict health policy for children and families as well as staff

Expert Player FAQ

COVID-19 Update

PLEASE NOTE: Due to the COVID-19 pandemic attending expert players must be siblings from the same household as the novice player (child with autism). At this time the Society is providing in-person Play Centre programs only to single-families (one child with autism and one or two siblings from the same household). Or one to one programs (one child with autism and our Master Guides).

What is an expert player?

An expert player is a typically developing peer with no diagnosis or waiting for an assessment for unique needs (development, learning, mental health). Expert players may be classmates, neighbours, cousins, siblings, etc.  Expert players have advanced social, communication and play skills. They are able to remain well regulated even during times of stress or excitement. 

What are the benefits of the program to my expert player?

Research suggests that expert players (typically developing children) demonstrate a variety of new and advanced skills due to their participation in the Play Centre programs. These skills include, better communication, leadership, self-help skills, as well as increased empathy toward others.

Why do expert players attend the programs free?

More than 70% of our attending expert players are siblings of children with autism. Therefore, the Society feels that it would be adding an additional financial burden to families of children with autism to charge for expert players. Also, the Society’s philosophy is to educate our community. Therefore, we feel families are more likely to register their children if there is no charge for them to attend.

What are the fees for expert players to attend the Play Centre programs?

None. Expert players attend the Friend 2 Friend Play Centre programs completely free of charge.

How can I find an expert player to attend with my child?

Cousins, neighbours, classmate, friends children and sometimes siblings may all register as expert players for your child. Reach out to your family and friends to ask their child to attend. Ask your child’s teachers to assist you in recruiting an expert player from your child’s classmates. The Society may provide a template letter that you use to recruit expert player. Please contact our intake coordinator.

Why is it important that I register an expert player from my child’s community?

The program is designed to teach expert players inclusive peer play skills that will generalize into the novice players school or community. Therefore, the program works best when expert players are part of the novice players community.

Does Friend 2 Friend find expert players?

Yes. The Society actively recruits expert players for all programs however, as stated above, it is best when expert players are part of the novice player’s community.

Novice Player FAQ

What is a novice player?

A novice player is a child with autism, or a child with unique social, communication and peer play needs. They may or may not have a formal diagnosis.

When can I register my novice player (child with autism) for Play Centre Programs?

Registration for Novice Players, for all programs is offered at the same time each year on a first come, first served basis. Registration is done online. Registration links are available on the corresponding website page for the program.

Registration begins on the following dates:

  • June 1st at 6:00 am Fall Program Registration Opens
  • November 1st at 6:00 am Spring Break Registration Opens
  • March 1st at 6:00 am Summer Break Registration Opens

What happens if my child hits, kicks, etc. another child?

Due to the nature of the Play Centre programs, children who exhibit aggressive behaviours towards themselves or others are not ready for the program. You are required to disclose all of your child’s regulatory needs at the time of registration. Please see our policies section in the Parent Handbook.

How do I know if this program is right for my child before I register?

Our programs and our Society are unique. Therefore, we offer a registration process that includes a free online family course and a conversation with our Intake Coordinator before registration. We make every effort to ensure that families completely understand the services offered as part of a Play Centre program. For detailed information, please see the policies section of the Parent Handbook.

Does my child have to be diagnosed with autism to attend as a novice player?

No. Any child with unique social, communication and peer play needs are welcome to register and attend our Play Centre programs as a novice player.

May I register my child (novice player) even if I don’t have an expert player?

Yes. You may register your novice player if you do not have an expert player. However, your registration is put on hold until an expert player has been registered for the program by you, the Society or another family.