Autism

BC Autism Assessment Network (BCAAN)


NEWS UPDATE: Recall of Fisher-Price toys containing lead paint

What is Autism? Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), often referred to as autism, is a neurobiological disorder that prevents people from understanding what they see, hear or sense. ASD affects reasoning, social interaction and communication. It can affect the functioning and development of the brain and is usually evident before a child turns three years old. It is a spectrum disorder, which means there is a wide variation in how it affects children.

What is BCAAN? A program of the Provincial Health Services Authority, BCAAN is responsible for assessing and diagnosing children who may have autism. The goal of BCAAN is to provide timely assessment and diagnosis within reasonable distance of the child's home. BCAAN includes specialists and health care professionals throughout BC. Assessment services are provided by each of the five geographic health authorities. BCAAN ensures the standards and guidelines set by the Ministry of Health are met, and reports to the Ministry on behalf of its health authority partners.

How do I have my child assessed for autism?
The first step to getting your child assessed for autism is to make an appointment with your family doctor. From there your doctor can refer you to a professional who is an expert in diagnosing ASD, and or arrange other assessments that your child may need. Your family doctor may refer you to one of the following autism assessment programs, based on the health authority responsible for health services in the area where you live.

Private assessments are also accepted by the Ministry of Children and Family Development. The private assessment form is available below under "Forms and Documents".

Parents and caregivers: commonly-asked questions

Forms and documents

  • Please use the BCAAN Clinical Outcome Form (also known as the Panter) for children age 0 to 19 with a postive diagnosis of ASD, to report for funding purposes. Please give the completed and signed form to the family who may take the form to the CLBC office to initiate funding.

A copy of the BCAAN Clinical Outcome Form (Panter) is available from your regional referral coordinator.

Also, please ensure a vital statistics form is returned to your regional case manager. The vital statistics forms should be completed for positive diagnoses of ASD and in those situations where there is a negative diagnosis of ASD accompanied by another reportable condition. These forms are available through each regional case manager.

  • Confirmation of previous diagnosis form Families may have this form completed by a qualified specialist to confirm an existing diagnosis of ASD diagnosed prior to 2004. The completed and signed form may be taken to the MCFD office to initiate funding. Families who have received a diagnosis in another province or territory in Canada may also use the confirmation of prior diagnosis form. Confirmation of previous diagnosis form (pdf)
  • Families do have the option to obtain an assessment outside of the BC Autism Assessment Network. However, assessments outside of BCAAN must adhere to the same standards and guidelines to be eligible for funding from the Ministry. Registered psychologists, paediatricians, and psychiatrists may provide private assessments.The following form has been developed to assist families who have accessed a Privately acquired or NON BCAAN assessments. The form should be completed by the qualified specialist. Non-BCAAN (Private) Diagnosis form.

For a list professionals who provide private assessments please refer to:

British Columbia Psychological Association
Suite 202 - 1755 West Broadway
Vancouver, B.C. V6J 4S5
Referral Service (604) 730-0522 Toll Free: 1 (800) 730-0522
Fax (604)730- 0502
Email: bcpa@telus.net

Consent forms
We feel it is important for families to understand who sees their information. These are the consent forms we use at the BC Autism Assessment Network

Contact BCAAN

If you would like more information about BCAAN and assessment/diagnosis of children who may have autism, please send an e-mail to autism@phsa.ca or call the BCAAN Information Line at 604 453 8394.

Other resources

Last Updated: Friday, September 21, 2012