SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. – In 2018, the CDC estimated that approximately 1 in 59 children was diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD). In its continuous efforts to enhance Inland Empire families’ access to integrated and comprehensive assessment services, the Inland Empire Autism Assessment Center of Excellence (AAC) recently announced the opening of its newest location in Riverside. The center is located at 19314 Jesse Lane, Suite 200, Riverside, CA 92508.
The AAC is a non-profit, evaluation-only center which allows children to be seen by a transdisciplinary specialty provider team that specializes in neurodevelopmental evaluation. The team includes neuropsychologists, pediatric neurologists, pediatricians, speech and language pathologists, occupational therapists, geneticists, and other behavioral and mental health clinicians.
“The gap in coordinated services available to children identified as potentially being diagnosed with ASD, led to the formation of the Inland Empire ASD Collaborative in 2012. The collaborative’s first mission was to create a Center of Excellence whereby all children of the Inland Empire would have access to a comprehensive diagnostic assessment, that would help drive needed treatment and services in our communities,” explained Dr. Kiti Freier Randall, pediatric neurodevelopmental psychologist and medical director of AAC. “From that mission, in 2016, the opening of the first Inland Empire Autism Assessment Center of Excellence in San Bernardino was realized. Three years later and having served approximately 3,000 Inland Empire children and their families, we have proudly opened our second center in Riverside.”
The center provides children an integrated and comprehensive assessment, designed to determine the diagnosis, severity and needed services. The center receives children who have been pre-screened and conducts a Comprehensive Diagnosis Evaluation involving neuro-psychologists, pediatric neurologists, developmental pediatricians, occupational therapists and speech therapists. Clinical services are delivered mainly through providers from Loma Linda University Health System for the best possible outcomes. If a child has a diagnosis other than ASD, the center refers the child to an appropriate resource.
The AAC offers families and their children many benefits including:
- Inter-Agency Collaboration – improves referrals and aligns providers and educators
- Comprehensive Assessments – eliminates wasted time and duplicative assessments
- One-Stop Shop – parents can now determine their child’s autism needs in one place
- Early Intervention – Early diagnosis leads to access to treatment at an earlier age for a higher quality of life and functioning
The agencies represented in this this collaboration have included: Inland Empire Health Plan (IEHP), Loma Linda University Health Department of Pediatrics, Inland Empire Autism Society, Inland Regional Center, First Five of Riverside and San Bernardino Counties, Children’s
Network, Behavioral Health Departments in both Riverside and San Bernardino Counties, representation from San Bernardino and Riverside School Districts and SELPA’s, Molina Health Care, Children’s Fund, University of California, Riverside, and San Bernardino Preschool Services Department.
“We are extremely grateful for the incredible support of these organizations who share our mission to provide every child in the Inland Empire access to a comprehensive diagnostic evaluation which leads to a treatment plan that will allow that child’s needs to be met early and effectively,” added Dr. Peter Currie, AAC board chair.
For more information about the Inland Empire Autism Assessment Center of Excellence or to schedule an appointment, please call (909) 799-3777 or log on to www.autismassessment4ie.org.