What to Expect
Your first visit to the Autism Center may differ based on you and your child’s needs. See the headings below to learn about each type of visit.
All Visits at the Autism Center
Before your appointment
- Fill out any forms we sent you or asked you to complete on the Inside Out Care website. If you have paper forms, fax them to 206-985-3175, scan and email them to firstname.lastname@example.org, attach them through MyChart or bring them to your appointment. Learn how to set up a MyChart account (Spanish).
- Gather information about evaluations or services your child has had, school records like individualized education programs (IEPs) and medical records. Ask your child’s providers to fax records to 206-985-3175, attach them through MyChart or bring them with you.
- Understand your insurance coverage. The Autism Center provides both medical and mental health services. Call your insurance plan to check your benefits. Read about insurance and mental health coverage at Seattle Children’s.
- Arrive 15 minutes early to check in for your appointment.
What to bring
- Copy of your insurance card(s) or current medical coupon from your state’s health agency, such as the Washington State Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS).
- Your filled-in copies of forms we sent you if you have not already faxed or emailed 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 (for example, communication cards or tablet).
- Your child’s medicines or a list of them. Include nonprescription items like vitamins. Include the name, amount given (dose) 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, tablet with headphones 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.
Learn about autism
If you would like to learn about autism spectrum disorder, please explore our patient and familiy education page.
Who should come to visits?
- Parents and any other caregivers should come to the first appointment with your child.
- Bring another adult to watch any siblings under age 12. We do not provide childcare.
What happens at a first visit?
Find your visit type below. Call our clinic at 206-987-8080 with any questions about what to expect.
After the appointment
- 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.
- You can also schedule any follow-up visits within the next 3 months before you leave. 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 a list to get notified if someone cancels their appointment.
What if I need to cancel or reschedule an appointment?
- Call 206-987-8080 as soon as possible.
- To cancel, call at least 24 hours before your appointment.
Late and no-show policies
- 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 without notice, 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.
Directions, parking and entering
- Find your location in our map and directions.
- Arrive 15 minutes before your appointment to allow time for registration.
Diagnostic Evaluation Visit
If your child’s first visit to the Autism Center is for a diagnostic evaluation, read about what happens during a diagnostic evaluation and what to expect.
Accessing Treatment, Learning and Services (ATLAS) Class
If your child has a diagnosis of autism and you want them to receive care at the Autism Center, you will start by attending our Accessing Treatment, Learning and Services (ATLAS) class for parents or caregivers. This 90-minute telehealth (virtual) class explains the services we offer at Seattle Children’s and how to find support and services in the community. Learn more about what to expect in the ATLAS class (PDF).
ATLAS is offered in English only. If you prefer to get care in another language or if you are not able to attend ATLAS, let us know. Our team will help you find another way to get care at the Autism Center or in the community.
First Medical or Mental Health Visit
Each of our medical or mental health visits starts with seeing a provider to:
- Learn about your child’s and family’s needs and expectations. We will ask about evaluations or services your child has already had.
- In some cases, ask for more records of your child’s past evaluations and treatments. If so, we ask for your consent.
- Try to answer all your questions. Please ask if anything is unclear.
Then, we will talk with you about the best next steps for your child based on their needs.
Preparing Your Child
Learn more about preparing your child for a clinic visit.
For more information on visiting Seattle Children’s clinics, please see Your Child's Clinic Visit.
For more information, contact the Autism Center at 206-987-8080. If you would like an appointment, ask your child’s primary care provider for a referral.
Providers, see how to refer a patient.