I think my child may have autism. What should I do?
Speak to your family physician about your concerns. Your family doctor may refer your child for assessment or to a pediatrician. A paediatrician may then make the referral for assessment.
If you are currently working with a speech-language pathologist, you may speak with the therapist about your concerns.
If your child is age two and a half or younger, you may also consider the Infant Development Program, which provides developmental assessment of children from to age three as well as resources and support for parents.
This would not replace an assessment, but may provide you with support and follow-up until the age of three. Contact the Infant Development Program location nearest you to find out more about the program and how to access it.
VICAN accepts referrals for evaluation of suspected ASD from any physician.
VICAN will schedule an assessment as soon as possible once a referral is received and the basic information has been checked by intake staff. Waiting times vary depending on how many children are waiting at the time of your referral.
Before the assessment date, a social worker or service coordinator will contact you to discuss your concerns and answer questions you may have.
Depending on your location and the type of assessment, the assessment may take place over a few days or a few weeks. A provincially trained Qualified Specialist, generally a Psychologist is responsible for the assessment and diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder.
- The qualified specialist will meet with you and gather detailed information about your child’s development. You may be asked to complete questionnaires about your child.
- The Qualified Specialist and possibly a Speech Language Pathologist will complete a play-based assessment with your child, and cognitive evaluation if necessary.
- For younger children, your child’s overall communication development may also be assessed.
If your child is diagnosed with ASD, you will be informed about the next steps to get treatment for your child.
If your child is not diagnosed with ASD, the team may provide further evaluation or make a referral to other services that may be helpful.