Assessment Network

Autism & Complex Developmental Behavioural Conditions

The Northern Health Assessment Network (NHAN) is a provincial program that serves all of Northern BC through centralized locations in Prince George, Terrace, and Dawson Creek. The program provides assessments and diagnoses for children and youth (ages 0-19) who are suspected of having an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) or any other Complex Developmental Behavioural Conditions (CDBC) which includes Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD).

Autism

How can I get my child assessed?

  • Make an appointment with your family doctor to talk about your concerns.
  • Your doctor may refer your child or youth to a pediatrician to rule out possible medical causes for delays and difficulties.
  • If further assessment is required, a medical practitioner, psychiatrist, or speech-language pathologist, can make a referral to the NHAN clinic for a comprehensive diagnostic assessment using our referral form.

What will happen next?

If it is determined that your child or youth meets eligibility criteria for an Autism assessment, then an intake package will be sent to you or the legal guardian. Once all the requested information is collected, you will be contacted with an appointment date to begin the diagnostic assessment process. If it is decided that the NHAN clinic is not the best fit for your child, you will be informed and other resources will be suggested.

How long will I have to wait for an assessment?

There are varying wait times for an Autism assessment, but we will do everything we can to see your child as soon as possible and will work with you to find other resources to meet your needs while you wait.

What can you do before the assessment?

Prior to the Assessment your child should have:

  • a vision exam
  • a hearing test

You can help the process by supplying the NHAN clinician with your child's previous records such as:

  • developmental history
  • photographs of your child at different ages
  • school report cards and IEP's
  • speech and language, occupational therapy, physiotherapy, and psychology reports
  • other assessment and progress reports by community service providers

If you don't have access to these reports, the NHAN clinician will obtain them with your permission.

What will the assessment involve?

The assessment team will complete a comprehensive diagnostic assessment, which may or may not include a pediatrician, speech and language pathologist, and a psychologist.

What happens after the assessment?

After the assessment is completed, the clinicians will meet with the family to explain results, provide diagnoses, make recommendations, and answer questions. Please feel free to invite other family members and/or professionals who work with your child.

Within a 4-6 weeks you will receive a report that will cover the assessment outcomes, diagnoses, and practical recommendations for interventions specific to your child's strengths and challenges.

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Complex Developmental Behavioural Conditions (CDBC)

How can I get my child assessed?

  • Make an appointment with your family doctor to talk about your concerns.
  • Your doctor may refer your child or youth to a Pediatrician or Psychiatrist to rule out possible medical causes for delays and difficulties.
  • If Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) or other Complex Developmental Behavioural Conditions (CDBC) are suspected, a medical practitioner can make a referral to the NHAN clinic for a comprehensive diagnostic assessment using our referral form.

How long will I have to wait for an assessment?

There are varying wait times for an assessment, but we will do everything we can to see your child as soon as possible and will work with you to find other resources to meet your needs while you wait.

What can I do before the assessment?

Prior to the assessment your child should have:

  • a vision exam
  • a hearing test

You can help the process by supplying the NHAN clinician with your child's previous records such as:

  • developmental history
  • school report cards and IEP's
  • speech and language, occupational therapy, physiotherapy, and psychology reports
  • other assessment and progress reports by community service providers

If you don't have access to these reports, the NHAN clinician will obtain them with your permission.

What will the assessment involve?

The multi-disciplinary assessment team will complete a comprehensive diagnostic assessment, which may or may not include the following:

  • Pediatrics: A pediatrician is a medical doctor who is trained to diagnose and manage the special needs of children and adolescents.
  • Psychology: The psychologist will work with you and your child to assess strengths and weaknesses across a number of areas. These include the assessment of cognitive abilities, academic achievement, attention, memory, planning, problem solving, personal care, social skills, and mental health concerns.
  • Speech Language Pathology (SLP):  the speech language pathologist will look at your child’s ability to understand spoken language, to speak to others using words, sentences, explanations and narrative reporting, to use appropriate gestures, body language and facial expressions and to manage the communication demands of social situations.  Your child’s auditory memory, speed of verbal processing, speech sound production and oral motor skills may also be assessed.
  • Occupational Therapy (OT): The OT will evaluate your child's fine motor skills, hand-eye coordination, and functioning in daily life.

What happens after the assessment?

After the assessment is completed, the assessment team will meet with the family to explain results, provide diagnoses, make recommendations, and answer questions. Please feel free to invite other family members and/or professionals who work with your child.

In 4 - 6 weeks you will receive a report that will cover the assessment outcomes, diagnoses, and practical recommendations for interventions specific to your child's strengths and challenges.

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