There is no medical test that can diagnose autism.

To diagnose autism, experienced specialists must:

  • evaluate a child’s medical and developmental history
  • examine a child’s behaviours, social interactions, and communication strategies using autism-specific tools

This process is called a diagnostic assessment. Families can access a diagnostic assessment in three ways:

1) British Columbia Autism Assessment Network (BCAAN)

BCAAN provides diagnostic assessments for children up to age 19 with suspected Autism Spectrum Disorder.

Following your physician’s referral, BCAAN will arrange a free assessment to be done as close to where you live as possible. After the assessment, you will receive a BCAAN Clinical Outcomes Form with testing results that indicate if your child has Autism Spectrum Disorder.

2) Non-BCAAN (Private) Assessment and Diagnosis

Families may obtain a non-BCAAN (private) diagnostic assessment from a private clinician. It must meet the B.C. standards and guidelines of assessments.

Contact Autism Information Services B.C. (1-844-878-4700) for a list of non-BCAAN private diagnosticians in B.C. Parents are responsible for the cost of private assessments.

3) Diagnosis of ASD Outside of B.C.

If your child has a diagnostic assessment of ASD from outside of B.C. and you are applying for B.C. government autism programs, a Confirmation of Diagnosis Form must be completed by a qualified B.C. specialist (paediatrician, psychiatrist or registered psychologist).

If your child’s out of province diagnostic assessment does not meet B.C. standards, the qualified B.C. specialist may require your child to have a new diagnostic assessment in B.C. before applying for autism programs.