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Autism Q&A

Autism Assessment in BC

January 27th, 2021


For Caregivers; Autistic Adults

Understanding the path to an autism assessment in BC is complex. We are here to help.
Autism Assessment in BC

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, talk to your family doctor about pursuing an autism assessment. Your family doctor or pediatrician can submit a referral for children over the age of six. 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 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. You can view public assessment wait-times here.

Understanding the path to an autism assessment in BC is complex
Private Assessment

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 who 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.

If you are moving to BC with a previous diagnosis of ASD for someone under 18, you will need to complete and submit a Confirmation of a Previous Diagnosis.

All autism assessments in BC must be completed under the Standards and Guidelines for Assessment and Diagnosis of Young Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder in British Columbia.

When you receive an autism diagnosis for someone under the age of 18 in BC, make an appointment with your local Child & Youth with Support Needs (CYSN) social worker for your next steps. 

For further support or information please reach out to [email protected]

Additional Autism Assessment Resources

How Autism is Diagnosed – Government of BC 

Jordan’s Principle – Government of Canada 

Miyoopimaatishihk (Wellbeing) Program – Métis Nation British Columbia

Autism Assessment Grant – Variety Children’s Charity

Waiting for Assessment Workshop – AutismBC 

Autism Information Services (AIS) – Government of BC 

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