Autism Center

What to expect at Seattle Children's Autism Center

At your first visit to the Autism Center, we will assess your child’s diagnostic and treatment needs. We will work with you to decide the best next steps.

What to Expect (Video 2:01)

To help your child prepare for their first visit, watch our short video to see what the Autism Center looks like and what to expect.

COVID-19: What to Expect for Your Child’s Safety at In-Person Appointments

We’ve made a lot of changes to our facilities to protect our patients, families and staff from Covid-19.

Visitor restrictions at all our locations

At all of our clinics, we recommend that only one parent or caregiver accompany a patient to their appointment. However, if two caregivers need to come along, we will allow it at this time. Siblings who are younger than 12 months are also allowed to come along. Siblings of any other age are not allowed to come along, and we do not allow more than two caregivers without an exception.

  • When you come for your appointment, you will see that we’re requiring everyone to wear masks at all times, cleaning check-in and registration desks between visits, screening for symptoms at all entrances and have set up our spaces to encourage social distancing.
  • Watch what to expect at your clinic visit during COVID-19 (video).
  • Learn more about the rest of the safety measures we have in place.
    • Fill out any forms the scheduling team sends you. Fax to 206-987-8081 or bring to your appointment.
    • Gather information about evaluations or services your child has had, school records like individualized education programs (IEPs) or medical records. Ask your child’s providers to fax records to 206-987-8081 or bring them with you.
    • Understand your insurance coverage. The Autism Center provides both medical and mental health services. It’s always best to call your insurance plan to check your benefits. Read about insurance and mental health coverage at Seattle Children’s.
    • Arrive 15 minutes early to get your photo name badge and check in for your appointment.
    • Copy of your insurance card(s) or current DSHS medical coupon.
    • Your filled-in copies of forms the scheduling team sent you, if you have not already faxed them.
    • Relevant medical, mental health and school records, if you have not already sent them to us. Bring copies or originals that we can copy.
    • Contact information for your child’s primary care provider, school, therapist or other mental health providers.
    • Any communication aids your child uses.
    • Your child’s medicines or a list of them. Include nonprescription items like vitamins. Include the name, dose (amount) and instructions.
    • Any forms you need to have signed by our providers, like forms for school.
    • Snacks for your child in case the visit lasts longer than expected.
    • Something for your child to do while they wait, such as a book, iPad (or other handheld device) or other quiet activity.
    • Another adult to watch your child if you want to meet privately with your child’s provider. Please do not leave your child unattended.
  • If you would like to learn about autism spectrum disorder, these resources can help:

    • Most first visits take about 90 minutes.
    • You and your child will meet for an hour with a provider experienced in caring for children with autism and other neurodevelopmental conditions.
    • The provider will learn about your child’s and family’s needs and expectations. We find out about evaluations or services your child already had.
    • Sometimes we arrange to get more records of your child’s past evaluations and treatments. If so, we ask your consent.
    • We try to answer all your questions. Please ask if anything is not clear.
    • Parents and any other caregivers should come to the first appointment with your child.
    • Please do not bring siblings younger than age 12 to a visit. If they must come, bring another adult to watch them.
    • Each provider who sees your child will write notes for your child’s medical chart.
    • Before you leave, we will give you information about what will happen next.
    • If your child needs follow-up visits within the next 3 months, you can schedule on your way out. For appointments later than that, call 206-987-8080 up to 3 months before your desired date.
    • Many of our services have long waits. You can ask to be put on the list to get notified if someone cancels their appointment.
    • Between clinic visits, call 206-987-7149 to talk with a nurse about questions you may have.
    • If you use MySeattleChildren’s, you can check online for lab test results. If you would like to have an online account, tell us at your next visit. We will register you and send you an email to set up an account.
  • For some children, the next step is diagnosis. Others need medication management or care planning to figure out the most helpful services. See what to expect and how to prepare for these later visits:

    • Call 206-987-8080 as soon as possible.
    • To cancel, call at least 24 hours before your appointment.
    • If you are more than 15 minutes late for your appointment, we may need to reschedule for a different day.
    • If you miss your first visit, we will close your referral. We can refer you to other providers in the community.
    • If you miss or cancel an ongoing treatment visit with less than 24 hours’ notice 3 times, we may not be able to serve you in our clinic. We can refer you to other providers in the community.

Paying for Care

Learn about paying for care at Seattle Children’s, including insurance coverage, billing and financial assistance.

Contact Us

Contact us at 206-987-8080 for an appointment, second opinion or more information.

Providers, see how to refer a patient.