Seattle Children's Autism Center provides assessment, diagnosis, treatment and support for autism spectrum disorders. We offer a range of medical and mental health services for babies, children and young adults.
We work closely with Seattle Children's Neurodevelopmental, Neurology, Psychiatry and Behavioral Medicine, Sleep Disorders, Genetics and Gastroenterology programs so that your child has complete and coordinated care.
We see patients at our dedicated facility a little more than a mile west of the Seattle Children's Hospital main campus.
Conditions We Treat
We see babies, children and young adults with autism spectrum disorders (ASD).
Autism is a complex neurological disorder that affects the way a person thinks, behaves, communicates and interacts with others. Autism is a spectrum disorder. This means it affects some children mildly and affects other children much more.
Services We Provide
Some of the specialty services we offer include:
The Alyssa Burnett Adult Life Center offers classes for adults age 18 or older with autism spectrum disorder or other developmental disabilities. Classes focus on social activities, recreation, health and wellness, independent living and vocational training. They are taught by topic experts with support from behavior specialists. This groundbreaking program is designed to promote lifelong learning, enhance quality of life and provide meaningful ways to take part in the community. Read more.
The Biobehavioral Program assesses and treats children and teens with developmental disabilities, including autism, who have very challenging behaviors. Learn more.
We will assess children as young as 16 months through early adulthood to see if they have ASD. For children under 16 months, we offer screening to find out if they are at risk for autism. We use a team approach to caring for your child. This means that we will work with you to design successful interventions and will consider your child’s unique medical, behavioral and educational needs. Our staff will help connect you with treatment and support services at Children’s and in the community.
We will prescribe medicines for problem symptoms only when it is safe and necessary. We will also work with you and your child during times of change or crises when medicine needs may change.
Some children with autism also have medical issues. When necessary, your child will be evaluated and treated by other Seattle Children’s specialists. We will coordinate your child’s treatment with a comprehensive plan of care. We work with Seattle Children’s experts in areas such as Sleep Disorders, Gastroenterology, Genetics, Epilepsy and other sub-specialties.
We offer a variety of forms of mental health therapy to treat the symptoms of autism. Services may involve individual and family treatment and parent education. Treatment may be necessary for teaching skills, reducing behavior problems or addressing related emotional concerns such as anxiety. There are many different ways that therapists treat autism. The therapy models that are used in our clinic include cognitive behavioral therapy, functional analysis, functional behavioral assessment, pivotal response training, behavioral feeding therapy, parent-child interaction therapy and other attachment-based therapies. We also provide interventions for social skills, such as group therapy with other children.
Getting an autism diagnosis is an emotional experience. Accepting and understanding how life-altering it is takes help. You are not alone. We can connect you to parent support groups, resources within the Autism Center and community-based services. An autism diagnosis does not have to be an isolating experience. We can help you find other parents and families to share support, experience and hope. In addition, we offer classes to help you understand your child’s diagnosis. Since there is no single treatment for autism, we can help you learn about the various treatments available. We will help you make choices about appropriate, evidence-based treatment options and become a capable, confident advocate for your child.
The Feeding Program evaluates and treats children age 1 to 13, with or without autism, who struggle with eating and drinking in ways that put their physical or emotional health at risk or seriously affect how they behave during mealtimes. Learn more.
The Rare Autism-Related Genetic Consultation Clinic is a short-term consultation service featuring providers who specialize in how certain rare genetic mutations (changes) linked to autism affect how a child functions in a variety of ways. The team’s providers offer expert opinions and tailored treatment recommendations in a comprehensive report for families.
We provide comprehensive communication evaluation. Our team will assess your child’s ability to produce and understand language, social communication, nonverbal communication, social skills and play skills. An evaluation usually involves formal and informal testing measures, a parent and teacher report, observational assessment, and review of previous documents. The goals of a communication evaluation are to identify your child’s relative strengths and weaknesses and give recommendations for home and school settings to help with your child’s ongoing development.
Understanding the Referral and Treatment Process
- Insurance Coverage for Mental Health Services (PDF)
- Mental Health Insurance Coverage at Seattle Children’s
Autism Resource Guide
Seattle Children’s Autism Center has compiled a resource directory (PDF) including information about books, multicultural support, evaluation and diagnosis, family resources, support and advocacy.