In BC, there are publicly funded autism assessments available. They are done through the BC Autism Assessment Network, but a referral is required.
To get an assessment, start by talking to your family doctor about pursuing an autism assessment. For children over the age of six, your family doctor or pediatrician can submit a referral. For children under the age of six, you can contact your local health authority for additional referral options. If you have requested a referral for an assessment, have been denied, and you feel strongly that further investigation is needed: seek a second opinion.
Wait times for publicly funded assessments can be long. Pursuing an autism assessment through a private clinician is another option, but you should be aware that private assessments do have a cost associated with them.
Private assessments can be a good alternative for those under the age of 18 seeking a shorter wait time. For those over the age of 18, it’s the only option as there are currently no publicly funded assessments specifically for autism in BC.
Diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is in-depth and done by a team of qualified professionals working to specific criteria. This team usually includes a psychologist and speech-language pathologist that perform screening tests and gather information from other sources.
Sources of information used for diagnosis can include but are not limited to:
• Audiology Screening • Vision Screening • Occupational Therapist (OT) Assessment • Medical history and general health • Pediatrician • Infant Development Program (IDP) • Child Development • Supported Child Care (SCC) • Daycare providers • Teachers and other educational support staff • Family or friends • Employers • Social Workers • Councilors • Psychologist • Psychiatrist • Nutritionist/Dieticians • Physiotherapists
If you are having an assessment done by a private clinician for someone under 18 you will need a Non-BCAAN Diagnosis of ASD form completed to access Autism Funding.