Have you ever wondered if your toddler, child, or teen has Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)? Children with ASD are often very bright, goal-oriented, and creative. Nevertheless, toddlers, children, and teens on the spectrum struggle to connect socially. A common myth about ASD is that these kids do not want to have friends. That assumption is simply not true. Children and teens with autism want to have friends but they struggle with how to make friends.

You want your child or teen to be more connected to peers and classmates but what should you do?

It is important to figure out whether ASD can explain the challenges you are seeing, especially since treatments for Autism Spectrum Disorder are available and can make a big difference.

Here are answers to questions we are often asked about assessing ASD at the Possibilities Clinic.

You might have heard that ASD is rare or that your child will just “grow out” of any awkwardness with peers. Or maybe you’ve heard that your child’s language skills will just “catch up.” Science does not support this “growing out of it over time” perspective. ASD is a real, physical, neurobiological brain difference. Thousands of scientific studies have proven that fact, and early interventions and treatments are critical for improving outcomes in the future.

ASD can look different in different people. Some children seem to prefer playing on their own, others struggle with language delays, and many simply find “chit-chat” conversations not interesting or difficult to do.

A detailed assessment can help you figure that out. And no, this is not something you need to figure out on your own. We can help! We have assessed thousands of children and teens at the Possibilities Clinic. We are specialists, not generalists, so we are experts in diagnosing Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).

Yes, diagnosing ASD is complicated because functioning falls along a very broad spectrum. No two people with ASD are alike, and symptoms that look like ASD might not be. Figuring out what is going on takes time, detailed investigation, and expert knowledge. At Possibilities, multiple experts are involved in determining whether autism is present or not with data collected from observations and questionnaires, clinical interview sessions, and direct testing. Bottom line: Autism cannot be diagnosed with a simple checklist in 15 minutes. 

Yes, treating ASD is complicated. There are many therapy options out there. Some have scientific support and others do not. How do you know what is right for you or your family? How do you know what is going to make real change happen? We will devise a Treatment Plan that helps you achieve bigger goals and better outcomes. And we will only suggest treatments for autism that are supported by science.

We offer a Comprehensive Autism Spectrum Disorder Assessment at Possibilities that looks at more than just social skills. We take a detailed medical and developmental history to investigate difficulties in multiple areas of functioning. Questionnaire ratings, from people you give us permission to contact like teachers, help offer more information about challenges in different settings and situations. Our assessment includes gold standard measurements for identifying autistic behaviours, plus measures of language skills gathered by a speech-language pathologist. Once problem areas are identified, our team can recommend targeted and scientifically supported treatments.

At Possibilities, we approach assessments from a team perspective. That means we involve experts from multiple health fields—like medicine, psychology, and speech and language pathology—in our assessments. A team approach to ASD, where psychology and speech and language pathology expertise is added to physician assessment, makes our approach unique. Having multiple experts on the assessment team also means that a full range of abilities can be examined in-depth, from language development and social skills to behaviour and emotion regulation.

Our team approach is comprehensive, so we call our assessment the Comprehensive Child and Adolescent Multidisciplinary Team Assessment for Autism Spectrum Disorder.

Early intervention always works best! However, it is never too late. We have seen thousands of preschoolers, children, and teens. At any age, good outcomes can happen with the right Treatment Plan. At Possibilities, we offer our ASD assessment to toddlers as young as 18 months and to children and teens up to 17 years.

Yes, but recommendations cannot be general, and they cannot be vague. Recommendations must be targeted, specific, and supported by science. And they must be personalized for you. For preschoolers, we might recommend ABA, Speech-Language Pathology, or Occupational Therapy to address challenges communicating or regulating emotions and behaviours. For older students, we might recommend social skills groups or therapy addressing emotions like anxiety.
The cost for our Comprehensive Child and Adolescent Multidisciplinary Team Assessment for Autism Spectrum Disorder is $2000. Private insurance plans often cover this fee.
Our assessments are available over Telemedicine throughout Ontario. With this option, we can see people from the safety and comfort of their homes. We’ve also found that clients are often more comfortable and less anxious in their own surroundings. For some children and teens, we may recommend in-person testing in our Toronto office. 
At this time, all of our clinicians are licensed to see people in Ontario only. Therefore, you must be physically present in Ontario, even for our virtual appointments. We may be able to change this arrangement in the future, so stay tuned!
Yes. A physician is involved in all of our assessments, so a doctor’s referral is required.

Please fill out our Child and Adolescent Intake Form for children and teens. Once we have this form and the physician referral, our Team will call you to set up an appointment.

For any questions, email us at info@possibilitiesclinic.com or call 1-833-482-5558.

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