Best place to get an autism diagnosis?

Any recs for where to get an autism diagnosis?

Looking for places to get a formal evaluation. Have heard really long wait times at a lot of places, including regional center. Not super cost sensitive, just want to get it done ASAP. 

Thank you in advance.

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Dr. Cynthia Peterson in Berkeley. Diagnosed our daughter a few years ago. Expensive but completely worthwhile. We're all so much better off knowing what was going on. She is thriving now. 

Ask your pediatrician for a referral to a Developmental Pediatrician.  You can also reach out to either STAR Autism center at UCSF or Stanford Children's developmental and behavioral center. 

we just talked to someone at Summit Center. It's expensive but she said her next availability is in mid June for a test. So I'd contact them and see who has the earliest available date there.

We are in the process of going through an evaluation now for our son. It's slow going. The regional center and school districts are what have been recommended to us, but it takes months to get a formal evaluation (we still don't have ours officially yet).

The other route you can go is to talk to a pediatrician who can refer to an outpatient center for Occupational Therapy. The child specialists won't be able to make a formal diagnosis because they're not child psychologists, but they can help you develop strategies that you can use with your kid to help with behaviors that are triggering the evaluation need.

I highly recommend Jigsaw DX ( We were able to get an evaluation with them within days of reaching out, confirming that our two year old does in fact have autism. The evaluation was done over zoom, which is why they were able to do it so quickly - but we later got an in-person eval done and Jigsaw's recommendations were "spot on," according to multiple specialists we've worked with. Getting the dx so quickly allowed us to access services ASAP. The idea that we could have lost out on literally months of early intervention services, during which we've seen our son blossom and grow, just because we had to wait for a DX - would have been really tough. Very glad we went with Jigsaw.

Even places with long waitlists get cancellations. I highly recommend you schedule something with multiple places: your healthcare provider is a great place to start (ask your pediatrician to refer you), but also try the Regional Center (their waitlist may not be as long as you think), and also private neuropsychologists or developmental pediatricians. We’ve worked with Lisa Greenberg (Oakland) and Ori Elis (Oakland) and they are both amazing. We also got excellent assessments from Kaiser and from Stanford. It also makes sense to start services even without a formal diagnosis if you strongly suspect autism. You are the parent, so you know best. The earlier you can start OT, speech therapy and/or a behavioral therapy like RDI, the better. Best of luck!

Please, please, do NOT depend on your school district to give you a diagnosis!!  Get your diagnosis from outside professionals, paid for by your medical insurance, or through the Regional Center.  Then bring that report to the school district when you need to get an IEP to get services for your child.  

School districts have "missed" many students on the spectrum.  Special Ed departments often see themselves as the gatekeepers to spending district money to provide services for students with disabilities.  This could be in opposition to what your child needs to thrive at school.

My 8 year old son was diagnosed at the MIND Institute at UC Davis in Sacramento. It was a very positive experience after we had visited other doctors who were unable to make a diagnosis. The MIND also offers other services like support groups for parents and social skills groups for kids. I highly recommend them.