ASD DIAGNOSTIC ASSESSMENT CENTRE
Pivotal Minds provides diagnostic assessments to children suspected of having
Autism Spectrum Disorders.
Receiving a diagnosis of autism for your child can be extremely stressful and next steps can be confusing. At Pivotal Minds, we want to ease your worry. Things can seem overwhelming, we have composed this page to make it easier to understand.
Worried about your child?
Perhaps you've noticed that your child is developing in a different way than other children, or someone working with your child (for example at daycare) has flagged some concerns. Your first step is to discuss your concerns with your child's doctor.
As a second step, you may have your child referred to a professional to rule out or diagnose autism. These professionals may be a Doctor, Psychologist, Board Certified Behaviour Analyst, Speech-Language Pathologist or Occupational Therapist who have all received training in the diagnosis of autism.
What does testing look like?
The most widely used assessment tool is the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule (ADOS). ADOS testing must look the same anywhere it is performed in the world. It is a series of tasks that the Clinician will ask your child to perform in a friendly, comfortable way. The ADOS is then scored afterwards.
Sometimes, an interdisciplinary team will be a part of the testing aspect. This means that you may have several professionals observing or participating in the diagnostic process. The benefit of having a team of 2 or more professionals is that you have more than one set of eyes observing your child. In some cases, a single clinician may be able to assess your child.
Diagnosis is based on the scoring of the ADOS the history given by the caregivers, and observations made by the clinicians.
Following the assessment, a feedback appointment will likely be scheduled. At your feedback, the clinician will go through results with you and either give a diagnosis of autism or determine that your child does not meet criteria for a diagnosis. Even when autism is not diagnosed, the assessment should provide you with helpful suggestions regarding next steps.
Should your child be diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder, the Clinician will suggest ABA treatment. There are many different types of ABA treatment and caregivers are encouraged to ask their clinicians about the different types of ABA.
Diagnostic Assessment Information
Why is there a fee for this assessment?
Our diagnostic team is lead by a physician whose services are covered by OHIP. However, administration of standardized tools such as the ADOS, and the diagnostic assessments provided by the other members of our interdisciplinary team (other professionals, such as BCBAs, SLPs or OTs) are not covered under OHIP.
Can we see the physician only?
You can have your doctor send a referral for an initial consultation. In some instances, the physician may be able to make a diagnosis of ASD. However, this approach does not represent the gold standard for assessment, as outlined by experts in the field. If the physician is not able to make a diagnosis after the initial consultation, you can book further assessment (e.g. ADOS) for a fee. Alternatively, you can be referred to a regional diagnostic centre and be placed on a wait list for a diagnostic assessment.
Are assessments free of charge?
Children can be referred to a regional diagnostic centre for publicly funded assessments. Unfortunately, there is a significant wait list for these services.
If you wish to pursue a publicly funded assessment, please contact your regional centre.
We try to keep our fees affordable for private assessments.
How to book an assessment
Please call 905.553.1800 to discuss your concerns. You can decide whether you would like to book an initial consultation (where your concerns are discussed and observed by the Medical Director) or book a full diagnostic assessment for a fee. The assessment will involve an interdisciplinary team, and will utilize an ADOS (standardized assessment tool).
Should you decide to proceed with a private assessment, please obtain a referral from your child's doctor and have them fax it to 905.303.4700 to see Dr. Cellupica. Alternatively, you may complete the form below to authorize our office to initiate the referral with your child's physician.
Do I need a referral to your clinic?
Yes, a referral is required to see Dr. Cellupica.
Please have your child's doctor download the referral form, fill it and fax it to 905.303.4700
Alternatively, if you're prepared to schedule an assessment, you can proceed by completing the form below and submitting the required payment.
A non-refundable assessment fee of $2500 is applicable. We've kept this fee at a minimum by leveraging doctor billing through OHIP. Consequently, a referral from your child's physician is required. If you'd like us to initiate the referral process on your behalf, kindly fill out the form below and provide payment.
We are here to help.
Immediate steps you should take are:
Obtain a Disability Tax Credit (DTC) from your child's physician. Therapies are costly - some parents will use the money obtained through the DTC to pay for treatment until they receive funding through the government. Click below for the form.
Register with the Ontario Autism Program right away. The OAP is the government funded program in Ontario. The waitlist is incredibly long. Do not let this deter you from obtaining treatment, as the early years in your child's life are the most crucial times your child should receive treatment. Click below for more information.
Seek out applications from charities or other means if possible.
Begin Treatment as soon as possible to improve the trajectory of your child's quality of life. Pivotal Response Treatment is an excellent choice for small children.