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Press Release


Assessment report provides key findings to support inclusion of Autistic people

OTTAWA, May 10, 2022 – Today, the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences (CAHS) is releasing its assessment report on autism. The report was requested by the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) and is to inform the federal government as it considers the development of a National Autism Strategy.

Better inclusion of Autistic people in Canadian society will have a positive impact. The report’s key findings focus on the needs of Autistic people and their families, and the tools needed to support their inclusion in society.

The report entitled Autism in Canada: Considerations for future public policy development – weaving together evidence and lived experience is the product of nineteen months of work. Throughout this period, experts and lived experience members of the oversight panel and its working groups assessed evidence as well as best practices and policies, and engaged in a wide-ranging consultation of stakeholders on issues focused on three main topics:

  • Social inclusion,
  • Diagnosis, supports and services, and
  • Economic inclusion.

The report provides key findings meant to help guide policy makers at all levels of government as they consider the development of effective programs and flexible strategies adapted to a broad range of needs. It also supplies Autistic people, their families, service providers, NGOs, government organizations, and all Canadians with much-needed information and pathways for future research. Its holistic approach is designed to have positive impacts on the lives of Autistic people and their families. The comprehensive report focuses on the individual’s entire life, in an informed, balanced, and constructive manner.

The significant and in-depth consultation process highlighted the fundamental consensus between the stakeholders’ lived experience perspectives and the scientific evidence, which emerged more often than dissent. This two-pronged approach emphasized the benefits of a sustained and equitable co-creation and collaboration amongst all stakeholders.


“It was a privilege to be part of this outstanding assessment that has the capacity to have such a tremendous significance for the lives of Autistic people and their families.”
– Lonnie Zwaigenbaum, Chair, Autism Assessment Oversight Panel

“We listened to the voices of Autistic people throughout the process. This resulted in a balanced and comprehensive approach that can be found in this report.”
– Aaron Bouma, Vice Chair, Autism Assessment Oversight Panel

“Autistic people have so much to offer to society. This report provides key findings that will support the economic and social inclusion of Autistic people in Canada.”
– Mélanie Couture, Vice Chair, Autism Assessment Oversight Panel

For media inquiries:

Cristiana M. Mandru, Senior Communications Strategist, at

About CAHS
Nearly 850 CAHS Fellows are drawn from all disciplines from Canada’s academia, health care and research institutes.

In the past, CAHS has completed assessments on key issues such as:

  • Improving the quality of life and care of persons living with dementia and their caregivers.
  • Academic recognition of team sciences: how to optimize the Canadian academic system.
  • Improving access to oral health care for vulnerable people living in Canada.

For a full list of our previously completed assessments, please click here.