Autism Spectrum Disorder

Autism spectrum disorder is a complex condition that impacts brain development and affects a person's social relationships, communication, interests and behaviour.

A person with autism spectrum disorder typically has:

  • Difficulty with communication and social interaction
  • Repetitive interests and activities
  • Attachments to objects or routines

Autism spectrum disorder affects the needs, skills and abilities of each person differently. Some of the signs may not be obvious to parents, so young children are sometimes not diagnosed until later in childhood.

Assessment & Diagnosis

Consider getting your child assessed if they are displaying signs of autism spectrum disorder:

Check with your family doctor about your child’s development. They can refer you to the British Columbia Autism Assessment Network (BCAAN) for further assessment and diagnosis, if necessary.

A private diagnostic assessment that meets BC Autism Assessment Network standards and guidelines is also an option, but you will be responsible for paying all costs associated with any private assessment. Autism funding from the provincial government cannot be used to retroactively pay for a private diagnostic assessment.

Apply for Funding & Support

If your child is diagnosed with autism, make an appointment with a children and youth special needs worker at a local office – they can help you apply for funding and support.

Also, some situations require a B.C. pediatrician or registered child psychologist to complete a Confirmation of Diagnosis Form (PDF, 963KB) – this includes families that have:

  • Moved from outside the province (a BC Services Card is also required to prove residency)
  • Children who were diagnosed before April 1, 2004

Learn more about funding for children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD):