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 12-36 months if autism or other delay is suspected. Click here to learn more.
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 (SDRC). You can contact SDRC at 858-576-2996.
Evaluations and services for Children Over 3
San Diego Regional Center (SDRC) also 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. You can contact SDRC at 858-576-2996.
- Your local
school district will also provide evaluations for your child. If your child is eligible, your school district will provide services such as occupational therapy, physical therapy, speech therapy, and behavioral programming. Contact your local school district for additional information.
Services through Rady Children’s Hospital
- Developmental screenings for children up to 5 years old 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.
Click here or call 858-966-8391 to learn more.
- 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 858-966-5817 for more information.
- Rady Children’s Hospital also conducts evaluations of speech and language, neurology, motor skills, and hearing. Call their main number at 858-966-1700 to learn more.
Exceptional Family Resource Center
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 for more information.
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
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
by Karen Pierce and Laura Schreibman.
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
Resources for Parents:
Some additional resources that may provide further assistance are listed below
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.
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: