QuickStart Programs

QuickStart — Early Intervention for Autism is a grassroots charity that began in Ottawa in 2008.  All programs with QuickStart are offered at no cost to the family.  We receive no government funding.

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QuickStart EArly Intervention Program: A Collaborative Program between QuickStart – Early Intervention for Autism and Emerging Minds

QuickStart – Early Intervention for Autism (QuickStart Autism) is a Canadian Registered Charity who funds the QuickStart Early Intervention Program (formerly KickStart) and Emerging Minds is the private service care provider who delivers our clinical QuickStart Early Intervention program.

The QuickStart Early Intervention Program is a one-on-one parent-coaching program, with the parent(s) and the child.  

Our program is offered at no cost to the family.  That doesn't mean it's 'free'.  To do this, we rely on donors, grants and community support.  We receive no government funding.  Please help the children continue to reach their full potential by donating today.  To donate click here.

We are a family in Ottawa who have 2 boys under the age of four with ASD. They were fortunate enough to be able to go through QuickStart's Early Intervention Program which has made a huge positive impact on all of our lives. 
Early intervention is so important, and as many parents of children with ASD know, there aren't very many options out there. Most options include an incredibly long wait list, or the parents have to pay for private therapy which would cost thousands of dollars.
Within 2 months of diagnosing both of our sons with ASD, QuickStart had them in an early intervention program called KickStart that included Occupational Therapy, Speech Therapy and a Parent Coach. This was at absolutely no cost to us and it provided our children with therapy that has helped them to learn new skills and has taught us to follow through on the therapy at home through parent coaching. There isn't anything out there like this. My youngest son, who is 20 months old, was not speaking at all when he started the program, within 3 months, he now has more than 25 words and is starting to put 2 words together. The parent coach also gave me the tools to prepare my eldest son for JK in September. We continue to implement socialization and imagination skills that we were coached on during the Kickstart program. 
We are incredibly grateful to QuickStart and to the charities that support this amazing early intervention program. We cannot express in words how much this has changed our lives! Thank you!
Catherine & Derek


Our sincere thanks to all our donors.  

Special thanks to Unity for Autism for their tremendous support of our work!   


Our thanks also to the Kiwanis Club of Ottawa for their generous support of QuickStart Early Interventon program (formerly KickStart), allowing even more children to participate in our program!


Our Parent Respite program


QuickStart began this program in 2010.  We wanted to let the parents have an opportunity to have a break.  With the generous support of local hotels and donors, QuickStart is able to offer one and two night stays providing parents the rare opportunity to have some time to themselves.  On average, QuickStart offers 40 stays a year.    

*Please note this program is for parents only*

QuickStart provides funding to offset childcare expenses while the parents are away.  To apply or for more information click here.

Parent Workshops  

QuickStart offers free workshops Email info@quickstartautism.ca to be added to our mailing list for future workshops.

We have posted our workshop videos on our QuickStart Autism Youtube Channel.  Thank you to Autism Speaks Canada for supporting this project!

Sensory santa

Sensory Santa is an opportunity for children with autism to visit Santa in a sensory friendly environment. This means Sensory Santa's are often held before the malls open on a Sunday morning, when it's quieter. The time set aside for Sensory Santa is exclusive for children on the spectrum and their families. The line ups are much shorter and children can come and go while they wait.  Often the music is turned down. No appointments are booked so parents have more flexibilty.

With the generous support of local shopping centres, we are able to provide an opportunity for children with autism to see Santa in a sensory friendly environment.  Click here for more information.


QuickStart held our first Autism on the Hill in 2013. 

Each year Autism on the Hill is held around World Autism Awareness Day, April 2nd**.  We invite our Members of Parliament and our Senators to attend and show their support for people with autism and their families.  

This rally is held each year on Parliament Hill.

FACES OF AUTISM BANNER:  Our Faces of Autism banner, featuring the beautiful faces of people with autism from across Canada, is on display each year.  In 2014 our banner was 12 feet long with over 160 beautiful faces of individuals, siblings and our first father & son photo.

For more information and to see photos and our Faces of Autism banners go to www.AutismOnTheHill.ca

**Please note the date for Autism on the Hill changes each year due to it being held while the House and the Senate are sitting.  This means Autism on the Hill can be as early as the last week of March or be held well into April.



Getting Started Services:  in partnership with the Ottawa Children's Treatment Centre

In 2008, we formed our first partnership with the Ottawa Children's Treatment Centre (OCTC).  Our family had just personally experienced the long wait-times while desperate for help.  I didn't want another family to experience that sense of time slipping away, of helplessness, while trying to figure out how to help our grandson.

At that time all children required a diagnosis before they were able to receive services and therapy, before they were able to get help.  With diagnostic wait-times up to 18 months, children were losing valuable time and their parents were frantic for help and needed support.  

Through this partnership, as of 2013, now all children receive pre-diagnosis services and therapy through Getting Started Services!  

QuickStart is proud to have provided the initial $55,000 for the pilot project 'Getting Started Services' and to have donated over $300,000 to the Getting Started Services.

From Suzanne Jacobson, founder and President of QuickStart Early Intervention for Autism

QuickStart - Early Intervention for Autism (QuickStart Autism) is a grassroots charity in Ottawa founded by myself, Suzanne Jacobson.  My two grandsons are both diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) but it was my eldest grandson, Alexander, who was the catalyst behind the founding of our charity.  Alexander missed out on life-changing early intervention due to the long provincial wait-times and a complex, confusing system.  While neither of my grandsons have benefited from our charity program, I began the charity because I didn’t want other children to miss this critical window of opportunity.

All QuickStart Autism programs are offered at no cost to the families. I donate all my time to operate the charity as a way of giving back to the community. Our charity receives no government funding. We rely solely on donations and fundraisers to support the children and their families.

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If you have any questions about our programs or if you'd like more information, please email info@quickstartautism.ca

We always appreciate your feedback.  



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