About Us

Who is the ASD Clinic for?

We help children and youth up to age 18. They can be at any level of cognitive functioning; they have or are suspected to have an Autism Spectrum Disorder and are showing problem behaviours thayoung_boy.jpgt are affecting their ability to function in their family and community. We are a tertiary service, so we treat children and youth whose needs are more than services in their own community can meet.

What is ASD?

Autism Spectrum Disorder is a medical term for a brain disorder that affects how people communicate, behave, and interact with other people. Some children and youth with ASD can have problem behaviours like aggression, self-injury, and destructiveness or might experience anxiety or get "stuck."

“Red flags” that suggest a child should be referred for assessment for ASD include:

  • No babbling by 12 months
  • No simple gestures (like waving) by 12 months
  • No single words by 16 months or no 2-word phrases by 24 months
  • Loss of language or social skills between the ages of 12 and 24 months
  • Not responding to their own name
  • No social smiling
  • Avoids or ignores other children
  • Odd or repetitive ways of moving the hands or fingers
  • Being over-sensitive to sensory stimuli, like loud noises or how their clothes feel
  • Unusual ways of using toys
  • Need to perform activities in a certain way or the same way every time

What does the ASD Clinic do?

Clinicians of the ASD Clinic meet with children/youth and families to review current concerns (diagnostic, symptoms) and to make sure that information is accurate and up to date.  This helps clinicians to make decisions about what services might be helpful.

If a child already has an ASD diagnosis, we may have a Clinical Consult Appointment in which we will meet with the child or youth and their family to review their history and current concerns. Usually this will be done by a psychiatrist and case management coordinator, but other workers may be involved if needed. Clinicians will suggest the service options they think might be appropriate and helpful.

Depending on your child's needs, service options might include:

Individualized services may be available to help children/youth, families and/or community service providers to understand and deal with a child/youth's significant problem behaviours (that is, behaviours that cause risk or damage to others and/or the environment), such as self injury, aggression, or destruction.

Community Capacity Building and Education: At times throughout the year, clinicians of the ASD Clinic offer presentations about topics related to ASD (e.g., medical treatment options, communication, behaviour, sensory processing, etc.). These presentations are for anyone (professionals, families or community service providers) who wants to learn more about ASD and possible treatment options.  People can attend in person or by video link.  Information about upcoming presentations is available in the Education and Resources section of this website. Also, individual presentations on topics related to ASD may be available by request.

Where does this happen?

Medical appointments are usually held at CPRI but sometimes might be available by video link. Assessments by other clinicians (such as psychology, behaviour, speech-language pathology, occupational therapy) are sometimes completed at CPRI and sometimes completed in the community (such as at a child/youth's home or school).  The best place for appointments is decided based on the child/youth's and family's needs and circumstances.

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