Behavioural and Developmental Difficulties

I am concerned because my child has significant social, behavioural and school problems.  What should I do?

Discuss your concerns with your family doctor. Your doctor will make a referral to a pediatrician or other specialist, who may then make the referral for the assessment service.

Before seeing a pediatrician, you may wish to gather information from your child’s school to share with the doctor. This may include reports from school psychologists, counsellors, occupational or speech-language therapists, teachers or learning assistance programs. 

VICAN is only able to assess children and youth who have already used some local services and are having significant difficulty in school, with friends, and at home. Any information you have will help the pediatrician determine what is the appropriate next step.

Referral Process

Referrals for evaluation of developmental conditions such as FASD or other significant and complex needs are accepted only from medical specialists such as pediatricians or psychiatrists.

Assessment Process

Once the referral is received and eligibility for service determined, a staff member will contact you to schedule appointments. 

Your child will be assessed by a specialized multidisciplinary team, so several appointment dates may be required. 

Before the appointment dates, a social worker or other service coordinator will contact you for more information and to answer any questions you may have. 

You will be asked to provide any information you may already have about your child, such as school reports, school psychologist evaluations, speech-language or occupational therapy reports. You may also be asked to complete questionnaires about your child’s development.

Depending on where you live, the assessment may take place over a few days or a few weeks, but the specialized team involved will be similar:  a developmental pediatrician or psychiatrist, psychologist, speech-language pathologist, occupational therapist, and social worker or other service coordinator.

When the assessment process is completed, the information will be shared with you along with any suggestions for interventions, strategies, future planning, or referrals to other agencies or services that may be useful. 

Opportunities may be available for school meetings or other information sharing, depending on each situation.