What to Expect
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.
We’ve made changes in our facilities to protect our patients, families and staff from COVID-19.
- Everyone is required to wear a mask at all times.
- Learn more about our current visitation policy and other safety measures in place.
- Fill out any forms the scheduling team sends you. Fax to 206-987-8081 or bring them 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 medical coupon from your state’s health agency, such as the Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS) in Washington.
- 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, tablet 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, please explore our resources for patients and families.
- Most first visits take about 90 minutes.
- If your child is having a full diagnostic evaluation, your visit could be 4 to 5 hours.
- 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 will ask about evaluations or services your child has already had.
- Sometimes we arrange to get more records of your child’s past evaluations and treatments. If so, we ask for 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.
- Bring another adult to watch any siblings under age 12. We do not provide childcare.
- 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.
- Call 206-987-7149 to talk with a nurse if you have questions between clinic visits.
- If you use Seattle Children’s MyChart, 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 families, the next step is getting a diagnosis for their child. Others may need help managing their medicines or finding the right services to meet their child’s needs. See what to expect and how to prepare for these later visits:
Also, explore our resources for patients and families.
- 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 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.
- Find your location in our map and directions.
- Arrive 15 minutes before your appointment to allow time for registration.
Preparing your child
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.