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NOTE: This page presents an overview of the diagnostic process in BC. For a more comprehensive view, see Chapter 1 of ACT's Autism Manual for BC, which is available as a free download in .PDF format.
If you would like more specific information about the BCAAN process and the assessment/diagnosis of children who may have autism, you can send an e-mail to
An important part of the guidelines are found in: Section 5.2 Surveillance and Screening. Some of the highlights of this section are:
View Section 5.2 in PDF format.
Another great source of current information aimed at Canadian family physicians can be found on the website of CAIRN – the Canadian Autism Intervention Research Network www.cairn-site.com .
ACT will be happy to send you this information by mail if this is more convenient.
Parents should be persistent in asking for a referral. List your concerns in writing. Bring copies of any supportive reports from other professionals, including teachers, speech pathologists or Infant Development Program Consultants.
If this is not successful, consider finding a new family doctor who understands the need to address your worries in a timely manner. Please always feel free to call or email ACT if you have concerns and need some support in navigating the diagnosis process, wherever you live in British Columbia.
or call 604-205-5467 or toll-free 1-866-939-5188.
Waiting times for BCAAN’s regional publicly funded teams vary from region to region and fluctuate across the year. There is a shortage of diagnosticians working in the area of autism across the province. Although priority is given to children under six, the current average time to receive a BCAAN diagnosis is three to five months.
ACT does have a list of some private diagnosticians on file. Contact us at