Resources for Girls on the Spectrum

The Girls on the Spectrum Drop-in has been up and running for a month now and we have had so much fun getting to know girls from across the City!

I have had several parents ask about resources and support that is available in Ottawa for their girls.

While the following information will by no means be an exhaustive list of resources, it is what I have found to be helpful on our journey so far. Every day I’m learning more and will pass on what I learn to you!

If there are other great resources out there that I have not mentioned please share in the comments section.

When we first suspected that Miriam might be dealing with a learning disability, a therapist that I know suggested we have Miriam assessed at the Child, Adolescent and Family Centre of Ottawa (CAFCO). We had a wonderful experience there for Miriam’s assessment. Miriam’s psychologist has been very kind, patient and understanding with Miriam and has moved at Miriam’s pace. The assessment was very thorough and really helped us to identify Miriam’s strengths as well as areas where she would most likely need extra help.

Miriam is also attending an evening group at CAFCO called Friends for Life. This program helps children to build emotional resilience and teaches strategies that help with anxiety.

CAFCO is located at 320 Osgoode Street, Ottawa and can be reached by phone at 613-567-0777 or by email at Their website address is :

Resources –

Their Facebook page –

Once we had Miriam’s diagnosis, I started looking for information regarding support and resources available in Ottawa.

Miriam and I attended the Autism Ontario – Ottawa Chapter’s Picnic this past summer and we were introduced to Marnie Potter , who is the Family Support Coordinator for East and South Eastern Ontario. Please contact her for systems navigation support, resources and advocacy. Her email is and phone messages can be left at 613-230-6305.

Marnie was able to point me in the direction of different resources, including the Social Butterflies program. This is a social program for girls on the Autism Spectrum aged 7-11. Six sessions are offered over three months in Kanata. Spots are limited and unfortunately when I went to register Miriam for the Fall session , the program was full, but stay tuned to the Autism Ontario – Ottawa Chapter’s website for their next sessions –

I have recently met with ABC Pediatric Therapies, located at 1939 St.Joseph Boulevard in Orleans. This bilingual organization offers a wide array of therapies for children, including speech therapy, occupational therapy, physiotherapy, behavioural therapy, holistic nutrition, naturopathy and counselling. Please visit their website at :

I hope to coordinate some events at their location in Orleans in the coming months – stayed tuned!

The Autism Program at CHEO provides services to children on the autism spectrum and their families. To receive a referral package – please contact 1-877-542-2294 or 613-249-9355.

CHEO works in conjunction with the Ottawa Children’s Treatment Centre (OCTC). The OCTC provides specialized care for children with multiple physical, developmental, and associated behavioural needs.

You can also contact Service Coordination for People with Developmental Disabilities – Ottawa – This community organization helps families in finding resources and programs available to them and their children.

Other resources/programs people have shared with me include:

As I mentioned earlier, this is by no means a full list and any service I may have missed is only due to me not yet knowing about everything that is available. Please share what you have found helpful in the comments section.

Over the next few posts, I will continue sharing information regarding resources available in ottawa, including

  • financial support;
  • books about girls on the Spectrum;
  • online resources; and
  • social media support

As always, I want to remind you of our Girls on the Spectrum Drop-in which is held every Sunday from 1-3 pm at Orleans United Church – 1111 Orleans Boulevard.

I can be reached st 613-852-0828 or by email at

Hope to see you and your daughter soon!!


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