Autism Spectrum Disorder Assessments (ASD)
ASD assessments include evaluation regarding the question of an autism spectrum disorder, as well as exploration of the cognitive and behavioural difficulties often evident in children with ASD (e.g., intellectual and adaptive functioning deficits, communication limitations, learning difficulties, sensori-motor problems, social deficits).
Assessments of Autism Spectrum Disorders are typically conducted through the Interior Health Children’s Assessment Network (IHCAN) (contact Lousie at 250-712-0411 or main reception at 250-763-4122 for more information about government funded ASD/FASD assessments). However, there can be a long wait for these assessments, particularly for older children, and we recognize that some families prefer to have their questions answered in a more timely way via a private assessment.
We work very closely with IHCAN and so are deemed “Qualified Specialists” within the province of BC trained to complete ASD assessments following the strict provincial standards and guidelines.
We prefer to have a referral from a pediatrician, although we are able to conduct assessments without a medical referral. We may choose to do a consultation with a child’s parents initially in order to determine if it is appropriate to conduct an ASD assessment.
For children under the age of 6, we recommend that you contact your local Child Development Centre.
Central Okanagan Child Development Association
Okanagan Similkameen Neurological Society
North Okanagan Neurological Association
Cariboo Chilcotin Child Development Centre Association
Children’s Therapy and Family Resource Centre run by the Thompson Nicola Family Resource Society
Children under the age of 6 require a multi-disciplinary ASD assessment involving a pediatric consultation and speech and language evaluation, as well as a psychological assessment, and this is best facilitated through the child development centres. In assessing for a possible ASD, alternate explanations for cognitive, language, and social difficulties, such as other medical or psychological disorders, are considered. We typically provide ASD assessments in conjunction with psychoeducational assessments, in order to be able to rule out other causes for the presenting challenges. However, we are able to conduct an evaluation of ASD only, if recent psychoeducational testing has already been completed, or in some cases where there are no learning concerns. Two psychologists are required to participate in the assessment and make an ASD diagnosis in the case of a private referral.
- Typical Diagnoses Considered:
· Autism Spectrum Disorder
· Intellectual Disability
· Specific Learning Disabilities
· Nonverbal Learning Disability
- Types of Conclusions and Recommendations Made:
· Diagnostic formulations
· Comments regarding appropriate supports within the school system
· Specific school-based interventions/strategies
· Other supports required (e.g., speech and language therapy, behavioural consultation, occupational therapy, psychiatric follow-up, family support groups, counseling)
· Suggestions for caregivers and other involved professionals