How to Choose the Right Service Providers

Parents take the lead in prioritizing therapy goals for their child and deciding which services to use. This can be overwhelming, so feel free to contact an Autism Support Specialist to find out what you should do next. They have time to chat about your needs and provide guidance at any level: AutismInformation@gov.bc.ca | 1 844 878-4700.


Registry of Autism Service Providers

The Registry of Autism Service Providers (RASP) is a list of professionals who have the experience and education to offer programs for children with autism. If your child is under six and you want to use autism funding to pay for services, you need to choose service providers from the RASP. 


Types of Service Providers


Behaviour consultant (BC)

Assess child development and behaviour by interviewing parents and observing activities at home

Design and implement a behaviour plan of intervention to address challenging behaviour or develop verbal, social, or daily living skills

Coach parents and others on the best ways to provide support

Have education and experience in the field of applied behaviour analysis

Some behaviour consultants are also behaviour analysts


Speech-language pathologist (SLP)

Develop communication skills – for example, how to have conversations or joint interactions and how to understand speech and language

Introduce communication tools (augmentative or alternative communication tools)

Help with oral motor skill development including eating, drinking and swallowing

Provide assessment, diagnosis or consultation

Are registered with the College of Speech and Hearing Health Professionals of BC


Occupational therapist (OT)

Help children participate in everyday activities such as play, dressing, grooming, feeding, sleeping, toileting, school readiness, printing, keyboarding, social skills, ability to cope and work

Address motor, perceptional, social, or sensory challenges through skill development or by making changes to environmental factors

Provide assessment, diagnosis and consultation

Are registered with the College of Occupational Therapists of British Columbia


Physical therapist (PT)

Help children understand how and why movement and function take place so that they can improve and maintain mobility, functional independence, physical performance and overall health and wellness

Assist with managing physical conditions, limitations or restrictions

Provide diagnostic assessments and implement strategies for improvement

Are registered with the College of Physical Therapists of British Columbia


Behaviour interventionist (BI)

Implement strategies outlined in a behaviour plan of intervention designed by a supervising professional – they do not design or adjust intervention plans

Behaviour interventionists can work with your child in various settings to help them build life skills. For example, they can ride the bus together, go to the park, take swimming lessons, etc.


Therapy Approaches


Applied behaviour analysis (ABA)

ABA is the science of human behaviour – the process of applying interventions in a systematic way to improve social behaviours. For example, techniques such as reinforcement are used to increase behaviours, generalize learned behaviours or reduce undesirable behaviours.


Developmental social pragmatic approaches

Therapy that is based on the principles of typical development and how children learn to interact. The goal is to improve the child’s ability to form positive, meaningful relationships with other people and develop functional skills.


Naturalistic developmental behavioural interventions

A combination of applied behaviour analysis and developmental social pragmatic approaches. The emphasis is on developmentally-appropriate skills that involve shared control between the adult and child.


Find out more about different types of therapy and support: