Mackenzie Health Caregiver-Mediated Early Years program (CMEY)

Offered through the Ontario Autism Program and delivered in partnership with the York Simcoe Autism Network (YSAN), Mackenzie Health’s Caregiver-Mediated Early Years (CMEY) program supports families with young children aged 12 months (one year) to 48 months (four years). It is designed to help young children with autism learn new skills and meet individualized goals.

To access CMEY services, children must be registered with the Ontario Autism Program (OAP) and families must be invited to participate. Register your child with the Ontario Autism Program.

To register for the CMEY Program, please contact York Simcoe Autism Network at or 1-800-283-3377 (toll-free).

The CMEY Program is free of charge and available for up to six months per child. Learn more about the OAP and caregiver-mediated early years programs.

Through CMEY, parents and caregivers learn therapeutic strategies and specific techniques based on their child’s individual needs. The program aims to build parents’ and caregivers’ capacity to support their child’s skill development in:

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

Services include the PLAY Project and Social ABCs.

The PLAY Project

The PLAY Project is an evidence-based, playful, practical, parent-implemented program that helps children on the autism spectrum develop skills in social interaction, communication, play, and preschool readiness. It is developmentally appropriate and fun, with strategies that you can use in your daily activities with your child.

The PLAY Project is designed for children:

  • at all levels of need
  • aged 12 months to 48 months
  • who communicate at a variety of levels, from no words up to and including sentences

Social ABCs

Social ABCs is designed for young children between the ages of 12 months and 42 months who are displaying social and/or communication challenges.

Over six weeks, parents participate in a combination of six group-format parent education sessions and nine individual coaching sessions, during which they are coached to learn and implement strategies that foster vocal social communication that is intentional, directed, and functional while encouraging positive emotion sharing between child and parent.

Children who have a diagnosis of autism, who have registered with the OAP, and are aged 12 months (one year) to 48 months (four years) at the start of intervention are eligible to enroll in the Caregiver-Mediated Early Years program. Families must receive an invitation from the OAP to participate in the program.