In a life threatening emergency dial Triple Zero (000)

In a life threatening emergency dial Triple Zero (000)
ACT Public Hospitals

Canberra Hospital

5124 0000

Calvary Hospital

6201 6111

Mental Health

Call Mental Health Triage on

1800 629 354

(free call except from mobiles or public phones) or

6205 1065

Poisons Hotline

For a poison emergency in Australia call


Drug and Alcohol Help Line

The Drug and Alcohol Help Line is available 24-hours, 7 days a week on

5124 9977

Health Protection Service

For after hours urgent public health matters including environmental health, radiation safety, food poisoning and communicable disease management phone:

(02) 6205 1700


24 hour health advice

1800 022 222

ACT State Emergency Service

Emergency help
during flood or storms

132 500

What is Autism?

The Child Development Service is a Canberra based service that provides residents in the ACT with free Autism assessments for children aged 0-12. A referral from a Paediatrician or Psychiatrist is required.

Autism Spectrum Disorder is characterised by persistent deficits in social communication and interaction across multiple areas. Difficulties with restricted, repetitive patterns of behaviour also impact everyday functioning (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders – Fifth Edition (DSM-5)).

Some common signs of Autism may include:

Source - Centres for Disease Control and PreventionExternal Link

Autism consists of a diverse range of behaviours and can be very different between individuals, therefore people with Autism may have some or all of these difficulties.

How is Autism Assessed?

The Child Development Service follows best practice evidence based standards in conducting its assessments. Our multi-disciplinary team has additional training and experience in the field of Autism.

We use a selection of information gathering and assessment tools which may include the following:

Who is Eligible for Assessment?

Children referred before the age of 12 years who live in the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) and have a referral from their paediatrician or psychiatrist.

There is no fee for this assessment.

Autism Assessment Referral Process

Step 1

Discuss any concerns you may have about your child’s development with your child’s paediatrician or psychiatrist. If indicated your child’s paediatrician or psychiatrist may choose to refer to the Child Development Service for an Autism Assessment.

Referrals for Autism Assessment by these medical professionals can be directed to the Child Development Intake Service on phone 6207 8884, facsimile 6205 1266 or email

Your paediatrician or psychiatrist can also provide you with information about private autism assessment if you wish to pursue this option.

Please note – If your child does not have a paediatrician they will need to be referred to one by a GP. Paediatricians are available through the private sector OR ACT Health Community Paediatricians. You can contact ACT Health Community Paediatricians through the Community Health Intake number on 6207 9977.

Step 2

The Child Development Service will write to you to confirm that we have received the referral, and to let you know about any additional information that may be required before an assessment can be arranged. This information forms a necessary part of the assessment process.

Additional information includes:

We will require a report that addresses your child’s current developmental concerns. This will be provided to the Child Development Service following their initial assessment.

Hearing assessments can be arrange through ACT Health Audiometrists via contacting Community Health Intake on ph:6207 9977.

Alternatively you can access a private audiologist or contact Australian Hearing.

How to access this assessment:

Step 3

Once all of the required information is received, we will write to you to confirm that your child has been added to the Autism Assessment waiting list.

Step 4

We will call you by phone when an appointment becomes available to arrange the assessment appointments.

Please be aware that waiting periods will apply before your child is able to be offered an assessment with our team.

Useful Links

Concerned about possible Autism symptoms?

ASDetect is a free app that assists parents and caregivers to assess the social attention and communication behaviours of their children younger than 2½ years (between 11 and 30 months).

This video-led self-assessment app is based on comprehensive, rigorous, world-class research conducted at the Olga Tennison Autism Research CentreExternal Link.


The Marymead Autism CentreExternal Link is based in Canberra and provides a wide variety of services in additional to information including Early Days workshops, support and social groups as well as NDIS preplanning and coordination support. Please note that you or your child do not need to already have an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) diagnosis to access our services, we can help you with the process of getting an ASD diagnosis.

Positive Partnerships

An online resourceExternal Link developed to provide support for school-aged students with Autism. There is information for parents and carers as well as for teachers and schools with the goal to improve outcomes for school-aged students on the autism spectrum both at home and in school.

Autism CRC

A single online gatewayExternal Link to Autism resources, tools and publications. The website contains up-to-date information from the early years through to adulthood and includes research papers and a wide range of resources for the Autism community, service providers, educators and clinicians.

More information about Autism Spectrum Disorder

Raising Children NetworkExternal Link is an Australian website with evidence based information on a range of ASD related topics.