San Diego Autism Resources

If you have concerns about your child’s development, the San Diego area offers many public and private services to assist you.

Evaluations and Services for Children Under 3

  • UC San Diego's Autism Center for Excellence (ACE) provides free developmental evaluations of children between ages 10-24 months if autism or other delay is suspected. Visit www.autism-center.ucsd.edu or call 858-534-6912 for more information.
  • California Early Start is a state-funded agency that provides assessment and services for children under 3 years with developmental delays. In the San Diego area, this service is offered through the San Diego Regional Center, 858-496-4318.

Evaluations and services for children over 3

  • San Diego Regional Center is a state-funded agency that provides assessment and services for children who meet their criteria for autistic disorder. Some children with behavioral difficulties who do not meet full criteria for autistic disorder may also sometimes qualify for services. Call 858-576-2996.
  • Your local school district will also provide evaluations for your child. If you child is eligible, your school district will provide services such as occupational therapy, physical therapy, speech therapy, and behavioral programming. Call your local school district.

Services through Rady Children’s Hospital

  • Developmental screenings for children birth to five years are available at Children’s Care Connection (C3) free of charge through First Five Developmental Services. C3 also provides educational and enhancement classes for parents and children. Go to www.howkidsdevelop.com or call 858-966-8391.
  • Private evaluations are available at the Developmental Evaluation Clinic. This group of psychologists can evaluate and diagnose a range of developmental disabilities and other disorders, and they accept most insurance. Call them at 858-966-5817.
  • Rady Children’s Hospital also conducts evaluations of speech and language, neurology, motor skills, and hearing. Call their main number at 858-966-1700.

Exceptional Family Resource Center

The Exceptional Family Resource Center is a community-based collaborative agency that offers support, information, and referrals. Services and supports are offered in Spanish and English. They also have a lending library with books, videos, etc. at their center in the Kearny Mesa area. Call 619-594-7416.

COMPASS Family Center

The COMPASS Family Center provides family-centered services and support to empower parents caring for a child with special needs. Compass will usually perform a “Needs Assessment and Family Action Plan” to help determine the best course of action for your family. Services include special education advocacy, counseling services, family guidance, training and seminars. Call 619 446-6926.

Other Private Services in the San Diego Area

Several licensed clinical psychologists in the San Diego area have expertise in autism spectrum disorders. Many are listed on the website for the San Diego Chapter of the Autism Society of America.

Information for Teachers

How to be a great friend
Do you need help getting kids to talk to each other and play together? This free peer training guide (PDF) was designed to facilitate interaction among differently abled students is based on research by Karen Pierce and Laura Schreibman.

Don't forget the companion manual, Teaching Typical Children to Enhance the Play and Social Skills of their Friends with Autism and other PDDs: A Manual (PDF), which is designed for teachers to use themselves.


Is your child non verbal?

Autism Speaks has recently published a short manual designed to teach parents the basics on how to use visual supports with children with autism.  Download it here for free(PDF).

 


Information on Implementing ABA Treatment with Your Child

Starting up a strong treatment program for your child requires a qualified team.  Read the Behavior Analyst Certification Board (BACB) Guidelines for ABA Delivery to find out the BACB's opinion regarding standards and issues that are important to consider.  Also visit the Autism Speaks website http://www.autismspeaks.org to learn more general information regarding affordable access to ABA as mandated by law in some states such as California and New York.

Publications, Other Info and Resources

  • First 100 Day Guide is a handbook developed by Autism Speaks, one of the leading non-profit autism organizations. This free handbook is a must have for parents with a newly diagnosed child with autism.
  • Valerie’s List is an e-mail list for parents and professionals with an interest in autism spectrum disorders. It contains the latest local and national news as well as local events pertaining to autism. E-mail ValeriesList@aol.com and ask to be placed on the list.
  • The San Diego Chapter of the Autism Society of America provides information and resources.
  • Amazon.com has many informational and supportive books for parents of children on the spectrum. Go to Amazon.com and enter “autism” in the search box.
  • Woodbine House publishers offers an extensive special needs collection, including several books on autism.
  • A web-based video glossary to help parents and professionals learn more about the early warning signs of autism spectrum disorders (ASD) was created by Autism Speaks, a non-profit organization dedicated to increasing awareness of autism and raising money to fund autism research. This  glossary was developed together with First Signs, the leader in early identification and intervention of children with developmental delays and disorders, and Florida State University.

    The glossary, which contains more than 100 video clips that illustrate both typical and atypical development, is available to the public free of charge at:

  • Several non-profit organizations exist nationally. Each group's website contains a range of information and resources: