Useful documents and resources for physicians
Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) – diagnosis, support and management
There are three different routes to pursue when assessing and diagnosing a child for possible ASD: a public, a private and “alternative” routes. Whichever route you choose, the child needs assessments from psychology, speech and OT. For diagnosis, there needs to be agreement between 2 specialties in addition to the pediatric diagnostic/assessment component.
Children who do not meet criteria for ASD (eg those with language delay only) may be able to access PUF (Program Unit Funding) which entitles them to specific supports and interventions. A diagnosis of ASD may entitle the child to more intensive and specialised services but this requires additional documentation and delineation of specific needs/challenges. The intensity, duration and composition of Specialised Services is highly individualized and parents should be aware that this is not a “one size fits all” model of funding. See http://www.child.alberta.ca/home/1278.cfm
- 1. Public Route:
a) Alberta Children’s Hospital, Child Development Centre:
P: 403-955-5999, F: 403-955-5990
b) Early Child Development Team
This was previously called PAART and Early Intervention service. This system is currently in a great deal of flux. Once referred, the child will be screened by an intake worker and assigned to an interdisciplinary team/resource, likely one of:
Developmental Pediatrician (if does not already have confirmation and letter of diagnosis from paediatrician)
Home Visits (usually for children < 2 years of age)
Diagnostic Assessments (if diagnosis questionable)
While this service will assist the child through the assessment, diagnosis and therapy phases of the process, the wait list for the program is currently approaching 1 year. If the child has already had assessments done in the community by SLP/Psychologist or other professional this may not be the appropriate route and referrals may be rejected on the basis of the child has already been (partially) assessed). Note however that SLP and other assessments done in the community may be more than adequate to support diagnosis and funding and parents can apply for resources and funding directly through FSCD if the child’s challenges are well documented.
- 2. Private Route
a) Society for the Treatment of Autism
Offers diagnostic and treatment support
Early Intervention Program – 2 – 6 years of age: Play/activity-based curriculum to maximize developmental potential; community-based, half- and full-day programs available
Margaret House Treatment Center– Residential treatment to 18 years of age, small group living
Spectrum Adult Services – for transition to adult support
T: 403-253-2291, F: 403-253-6974; www.sta-ab.com
b) Integrated Developmental Educational & Assessment Services (IDEAS)
IDEAS provides Speech-Language Therapy, Occupational Therapy, Psychology and tutoring services to children, adolescents and families in and around the city of Calgary. Calgary. Assessment, therapy, consultation and workshops are offered by each discipline. Interdisciplinary assessment and consultation services are available.
Suite 405 Willow Park Centre, 10325 Bonaventure Dr. S.E., Calgary, T2J 7E4
T: 403-271-9020, F: 403-225-0554
Note that Alberta Health Services does not endorse the professionals whose names appear on this list. These professionals agreed to allow the Preschool Autism Assessment and Resource Team (PAART) to share their information with families on the PAART wait list. This list is not comprehensive, and families may be able to find other qualified psychologists through a variety of sources. For example, the Alberta Psychology Association (APA) has an online referral source through their website at:www.psychologistsassociation.ab.ca.
Families may want to refer to the handbook, “Screening, Assessment, and Diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorders in Young Children: Canadian Best Practice Guidelines” published by the Miriam Foundation (2008) to help determine the most appropriate assessment for their child. This handbook and other documents are available for free download from www.autismcentral.ca.
- 3. Alternative Routes
Children who have already been enrolled into PUF (Program Unit Funding) supports due to speech delay or other concerns will already be receiving some services at the time of ASD diagnosis. The reports and assessments from the PUF provider will be invaluable in accessing Specialised Services
a) Renfrew Educational Services
Offers programs Junior Kindergarten, ECS, Grades 1 – 6, Intensive Behavioral Intervention for children with ASD and Intensive therapeutic Intervention for children with neuro-motor disorders such as cerebral palsy
Renfrew Main School:
T: 403-291-5038; F: 403-291-2499
2050 21 Street NW, Calgary, T2E 6S5
Alt. locations: Renfew South, Bowness, Falconridge, Special Services Centre
b) Providence Children’s Centre
Educational, therapeutic and medical services for preschool children with all types of disabilities. Offers Early Intervention Programs, (starting from 16 mo), Enriched Preschool, Junior Kindergarten and Kindergarten .
P: 403-255-5577, website www.providencechildren.com
Locations: Windsor Park (SW), Beddington (NE), Midnapore (SE), Falconridge (NE)
Obtaining funding and arranging intervention
Once the child has the required assessments and documentation the family should contact Family Support for Children with Disabilities (FSCD) in order to get a worker assigned to their case.
T: 403-310-0000 to be connected to local FSCD office;
FSCD Calgary Office:
Marlborough Park Multi Service Team, 150 1440 52 Street NE
Calgary, T2A 4T8 , T: 403-297-6022, F: 403-297-5580
FSCD Main Page