What are the OAP Caregiver-Mediated Early Years (CMEY) programs and ESI/SCERTS?

What the Ontario Autism Program Offers

The Ontario Autism Program (OAP) Offers 5 types of needs based services and supports to families.

  • Foundational Family Services
  • Caregiver-Mediated Early Years Programs (CMEY)
  • Entry to School Program
  • Core Clinical Services
  • Urgent Response Services

What are CMEY programs?

CMEY programs support families with young children ages 12 months to 48 months (4 years). CMEY programs are caregiver coaching programs that require the both the caregiver and child to be present. To access CMEY services, families must be invited to participate in a caregiver mediated early years program. To receive an invitation, children must be registered with the OAP.  To register your child with the OAP, visit the website link at the bottom of the page.

There are six different types of CMEY programs.

  • Early social interaction/social communication emotional regulation and transactional supports (ESI/SCERTS) (12-36 months)
  • Joint attention, symbolic play, engagement and regulation (JASPER) (12-48 months)
  • Pivotal response treatment (PRT) (12-48 months)
  • PLAY project (12-48 months)
  • Project ImPACT (12-48 months)
  • Social ABCs (12-42 months)

The OAP delivers its services through private providers that are situated across the province. Each regional area (central, east, north, Toronto and west) offers all 6 CMEY programs.

What is ESI/SCERTS?

QuickStart Early Years offers an ESI/SCERTS program. In ESI/SCERTS you (the caregiver) will receive coaching and be supported to develop your child’s social communication skills within everyday activities and social activities, such as:

  • games (peek-a-boo, hide and seek)
  • meals and snacks (setting the table, clean up)
  • caregiving activities (bathing, diaper changes, hand washing)
  • play with toys (blocks, puzzles, play dough, pretend play)
  • family chores (picking up, getting the mail)
  • books (shapes, colours, numbers)
  • transitions from one activity to another

The coach will guide and support you throughout the program, helping you engage your child by following your child’s focus of interest and by keeping activities predictable. This is highly motivating for children, and it will help you improve your child’s communication, social skills, play skills, self-help, and motor skills.

ESI/SCERTS is based on evidence as well as the principles of child development and applied behaviour analysis (ABA).

What is our ESI/SCERTS QuickStart™ Autism Navigator® program?

Through our funded ESI/SCERTS QuickStart™ Autism Navigator® program, parents and caregivers learn therapeutic strategies and specific techniques from professionals based on their child’s individual needs. The programs aim to build parents’ and caregivers’ capacity to support their child’s skill development in:

  • social interaction skills
  • play skills
  • communication skills
  • emotional development
  • adaptive development and self-help skills

The ESI/SCERTS QuickStart™ Autism Navigator® Program is activity-based, child-led and developmentally appropriate. The Caregiver-mediated programs are free of charge and vary in length from one to six months per child. Each program has its own age and eligibility criteria.

The Caregiver-mediated QuickStart™ Autism Navigator® Program is specifically offered to children between the ages of 12 to 36 months.

Learn more about our QuickStart™ Autism Navigator® Program