Child (under 18) Autism Assessment

Autism assessments are to assess children for Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). ASD is a condition with a wide variety of presentations that can range from mild to severe functional impairment. This can make ASD both difficult to diagnose and treat. Many children with ASD are intelligent, goal-oriented and creative. Common difficulties children with ASD experience are their abilities to communicate and connect socially. Depending on the specific concerns you have, an ASD/psychoeducational assessment  may be a better option for you and your child.

For more information, check out our informational document on Child ASD Assessments or look through the questions below.

Here are questions we are often asked about child ASD Assessments along with our answers.

What is ASD?

ASD is a neurodevelopmental disorder that affects how people interact with others, communicate, learn and behave. Studies have shown a physical difference located in the front part of the brain, called the frontal lobe. People with Autism Spectrum Disorder can experience a wide range of symptoms and severity of functional impairment. While people experience ASD differently, common symptoms generally involve some combination of communication and social difficulties, narrow interests, repetitive behaviour, and/or sensory issues. Asperger’s syndrome, which used to be its own diagnosis, is no longer separate from the autism spectrum disorder.

What is an ASD Assessment?

An ASD assessment specifically assesses your child for Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). This assessment is best for children with no significant intellectual or academic difficulties or have had a recent psychoeducational assessment . If your child does have any intellectual or academic concerns, then an ASD/psychoeducational assessment (link to page) is typically required.

How old does my child need to be for an ASD Assessment?

Children need to be at least 6 years old to be seen by our psychologists for an ASD Assessment at the Center for Pediatric Excellence. At this time, none of our psychologists are able to do ASD Assessments for children 5 or under.

My child is non-verbal. Can they be assessed for ASD at the Center for Pediatric Excellence?

Possibly. Dr. James Brazeau does assessments for children who are non-verbal on a case-by-case basis. Please complete the psychology screener  or contact to determine if Dr. Brazeau is able to assess your child.

I believe my child may have Autism (ASD) as well as learning differences. Is there a way to assess for both at the same time?

Yes, we have clinicians who are able to do combined ASD and psychoeducational testing. To learn more about that process click here.

What do ASD assessments look like?

ASD assessments require multiple sessions with the clinician and time for the clinician to complete test scoring and report writing. Typically, the steps are:

1. 1-hour initial interview with the psychologist to determine if there is reason to proceed with an ASD assessment. The clinician will meet with you and your child, collect a history of concerns, and provide a recommendation for what is required (ex. testing and/or interviews) to determine whether or not your child has ASD.

2. 1-hour Autism Diagnostic Observation Scale (ADOS) administration

3. If needed and with consent, the psychologist will conduct informational interviews with teachers and/or other care providers

4. Once all the information is gathered, the psychologist needs 4 hours for scoring and report writing

5. 1-hr feedback session to go over the results, answer questions, and offer recommendations for next steps.

How long does it take to do an ASD assessment?

The entire process from the initial interview to feedback session takes a minimum of 6 weeks. Based on appointment scheduling, it can take as long as 10 weeks.

Are ASD Assessments covered by OHIP?

No. Many private insurance plans provide some degree of coverage for psychological assessments. Check with your insurance provider to verify what they will cover. Although you don’t need a referral to book the appointment, some insurance companies require a doctor’s referral for reimbursement.

How much does a child ASD assessment cost at the Center for Pediatric Excellence?

The cost of a Child ASD Assessment at the Center for Pediatric Excellence is a baseline of $2,025 ($225 per hour x 9 hours). This includes time the psychologist spends with you and/or your child, interviews with teachers and care providers, and test scoring and report writing. Your clinician will discuss with you any additional time needed to complete reports or additional interviews.

Do I need a doctor’s referral?

No. Autism Assessments are not covered by OHIP, so they do not require a referral from a physician. Check with your insurance provider to verify what they will cover. Although you don’t need a referral to book the appointment, some insurance companies require a doctor’s referral for reimbursement.

How do I get started?