Back in the Spring of 2021, in an effort to be responsive to the growing number of families waiting for ASD assessments in the Comox Valley, the Comox Valley Child Development Association (CVCDA) announced we would be hosting a pilot ASD Assessment Clinic with a Licensed Private Psychologist in August 2021.
The hope for this initiative was to shorten the time families were waiting for assessment so they could access resources and services in the very critical early years. Also by doing this locally, it would help to reduce travel time and costs for families.
After we made this decision, Variety Club came out with funding for families to help offset the costs of getting a private assessment. This turned out to be an amazing combination, access to both assessment and funding.
To this date we have had 5 clinics with another one planned for March and hoping to have one before summer. At the end of our March clinic we will have provided assessments to over 40 families. This could not have been possible without the support and flexibility of Compass Clinic and Dr. Andrea Stelnicki. We are very thankful for their partnership.
Why do we need an assessment clinic?
Growing wait times for ASD assessments have been a historical problem for families’ province-wide. Currently there are waitlists for both public and private clinics for an ASD assessment, and the average age of identified kids waiting is three to four years old. Studies show the earliest interventions are potentially the most effective and offer the most optimal outcome.
We also know that families who are waiting for ASD assessments are experiencing a lot of added stress and frustration with trying to support and manage their child until a diagnosis can been confirmed. And the past year of COVID has brought so much more added stress to families and kids. If our pilot initiative is successful we will continue to offer regular clinics and help get kids with ASD the support they need as early as possible. This will also greatly reduce the pressure and costs associated with accessing out of town assessments.
Who qualifies to attend the clinic?
Any child who has been referred by a pediatrician or physician for an ASD assessment and who currently resides in the Comox Valley catchment.
Here is what you will NEED to have completed in order for us to put your child on our list:
- Referral from pediatrician or physician
- Speech and Language report
Other helpful, but not mandatory information includes:
- Any OT assessment or report
- Any neurological report
- Any previous psychiatric or psychological assessment.
- A note from a or therapist if the person has been receiving counseling.
What will it cost?
The assessments will be done by a Licensed Private Psychologist and there will be a fee for the assessment just as there would be if you traveled to a private clinic. Families will be responsible for the Individual Assessment cost. The assessment fees will vary based on the type of assessment your child needs. The fees for the pilot clinic are as follows:
- Autism Assessment for children over 6 – $2,475.00
- Autism Assessment + psychology for children under 6 – $3,000.00
We are working to make the Assessment Clinics as accessible as possible for families. You can visit Variety online to learn more about their funding for private autism assessments.
Where and when will the clinic take place?
All spaces have been filled up for the next ASD Assessment Clinic is in early March. However, we are currently planning for another before summer 2023. They will once again take place centrally in the Comox Valley.
*There is a maximum limit of spaces per day of the clinic. Additional requests will be recorded and used to plan for future clinic needs.
While assessments will be done at the CVCDA there is no obligation to be involved with our autism services such as The Autism Program (TAP). Families are free to choose the services they feel are the best fit for their child.
Please contact us if you have any questions or wish to register your child for the ASD Assessment Clinic.
Contact CVCDA to submit your request for ASD Assessment Services.
Phone: 250.338.4288 ext. 245
Autism Assessment Funding
Variety is now funding private autism assessments. Request a grant application today.
Originally posted in the Comox Valley Record on October 25, 2021Written by Erin Haluschak, firstname.lastname@example.org April Statz saw what a long waitlist and the impact of the pandemic had on families who have children with autism or undiagnosed autism...