Information for Families

This page provides important information for parents or guardians of children with ASD under age six on the process for using autism funding to pay specific types of professionals. Service providers for children six and over do not have to be chosen from the Registry of Autism Service Providers (RASP), however, the RASP is a useful source of qualified professionals for children of all ages.

Accessing the RASP List

ACT manages the RASP on behalf of the Ministry of Children and Family Development (MCFD) which sets policies for the RASP. The RASP list can be searched from ACT’s website. New Behavior Consultants, Speech-Language Pathologists, Occupational Therapists and Physical Therapists are added frequently.

The RASP can be searched by:

  1. Profession.
  2. B.C. Cities. Enter the cities closest to you.
  3. Name of the professional.
  4. Languages other than English.
  5. Accepting new clients? Omits professionals who are not accepting new clients.

To access the most current list, Search the RASP.

Hiring Professionals from the RASP List

When using MCFD’s Autism Funding: Under 6 Program to pay professionals, parents MUST employ professionals (Behavior Consultants, Speech-Language Pathologists, Occupational Therapists, and Physical Therapists) from the RASP List.  If a professional provides service before they have been accepted to the RASP, they will not be reimbursed by the Autism Funding Branch. Parents are urged to check the RASP to ensure that a professional is listed before contracting with them.

A Note of Caution for Parents

When using Autism Funding, it is the parent’s responsibility for ensuring that the child’s program is a good fit. ACT understands that this is a significant task for parents whether their child was diagnosed last month or several years ago. ACT provides extensive information to empower parents to make informed decisions. Please see The Hub for details.

ACT verifies a professional’s credentials and experience prior to their inclusion on the RASP, and ensures they have a clear Criminal Record Check.  While we continually monitor and update the list, ACT does not endorse the expertise of any of the service providers on the RASP, nor do we take responsibility for or guarantee the quality of service they provide. A professional who is on the RASP has stated that he or she meets the minimum requirements for inclusion on the registry as set out in the MCFD Application Form.

Behavior Consultants

By placing themselves on the RASP, Behavior Consultants are formally declaring they are qualified to design, supervise, and oversee the implementation of intensive, comprehensive, effective, and individualized behavior treatment programs for children under 6 with ASD.

Parents should keep in mind that the skills and abilities of Behavior Consultants vary. There is no college of Behavior Consultants in B.C., this means that there is no professional body to whom Behavior Consultants are accountable and can provide protection for consumers. Autism is a rapidly evolving international field of study characterized by ongoing development of new treatments, intervention strategies, and methodologies.

In B.C.,  Behavior Consultants can differ dramatically in terms of their education, training, experience and fee structure.  It is important for parents to ask questions about a consultant’s experience and skills and to refer to the program evaluation checklist. We strongly encourage parents to ask questions of professionals on the RASP whom they may wish to hire. It is important to sign a contract that sets out exactly what the consultant will provide, his or her role in the process, expectations of the family, and costs.

Behavioral Plan of Intervention

A Tool for Collaboration

A Behavioral Plan of Intervention (BPI) is highly recommended for children under the age of six. The BPI is developed by the Behavior Consultant in collaboration with the family and other professionals on the team. This may include a Speech-Language Pathologist, Occupational Therapist or Physical Therapist from the RASP List. Having a written treatment plan, such as a BPI, is an important tool in building a team approach and helps to make sure that service providers are accountable to the goals initially set by the team.  Through regular reviews, the BPI measures the child’s progress. This is a document that should always be ‘a work in progress’.  See MCFD’s A Parent’s Handbook: Your Guide to Autism Programs  for more information on BPIs.

Speech-Language Pathologists, Occupational Therapists, and Physical Therapists

S-LPs, OTs, and PTs are all regulated by their professional colleges under the B.C. Health Professions Act. Colleges are responsible for setting and enforcing the standards, or rules, of their professions. Under B.C. law, their mandate is to serve and protect the public.

There are many qualified S-LPs, OTs and PTs with extensive ASD-related experience working in public and non-profit agencies; however, the RASP is only for those who work in private practice with children under six with ASD.  The only exceptions are S-LPs and OTs who are supervising professionals new to the field of autism (see below).

Speech-Language Pathologists

Speech-Language Pathologists (S-LP) specialize in assessing and treating a child’s speech, language and social communication difficulties. They can work directly with a child or provide consultation to the team providing ideas on how to target specific communication and social challenges.

Supervised Speech-Language Pathologists

This category enables S-LPs new to the area of autism to gain experience with the support of a supervisor while invoicing the Autism Funding Branch for their work. For details on how this is relevant for families, please see Supervised S-LPs.

Occupational Therapists

Occupational Therapists (OT) provide assessment, diagnosis, and treatment in the area of functional living skills including play, dressing, feeding, school readiness skills, printing, keyboarding, and social skills.

Supervised Occupational Therapists

In order to build capacity and meet the needs of B.C. children with ASD, the Ministry of Children and Family Development (MCFD) will put into place a new category for the RASP – ‘Supervised Occupational Therapist’, effective April 1, 2017. This new category enables OTs new to the area of autism to gain experience with the support of a supervisor while invoicing the Autism Funding Branch for their work. For details on how this is relevant for families, please see Supervised OTs.

Physical Therapists

Physical Therapists (PT) provide assessment and intervention that focuses on the prevention, identification, and easing of movement challenges. They can either provide direct treatment or consultation to the team.

 Individualized Support from ACT

Confused? You are welcome to call the ACT office and one of our Information Officers will be pleased to help you. ACT is a not-for-profit society whose staff have extensive experience in supporting families who have children with ASD – several of us are parents ourselves! We can be contacted at 604-205-5467, toll-free at 1-866-939-5188 or by email at 8:30 am to 4:30 pm Monday to Friday. At ACT, we provide service in English, Punjabi, Mandarin and Cantonese.

Complaint Process – Concerns about a RASP Professional?

If you have concerns about the service provided by a Behavior Consultant or any other professional on the RASP List, please visit the RASP Complaint Process page for more information.

RASP Profiles for Behavior Consultants

In order for parents to have more information on which to base their selection of a Behavior Consultant, ACT has developed the RASP profile, available online. The profiles are detailed overviews of a professional’s skills and experience in autism treatment. These have been completed on a voluntary basis by a growing number of Behavior Consultants.

To view profiles of Behavior Consultants, scroll down the RASP List and you will see “view profile” beside those who have submitted profiles. ACT is redeveloping the RASP profile form to make it easier for professionals to submit and for families to review. ACT will inform all Behavior Consultants when the revised form is available for submissions.

Behavior Interventionists

Behavior interventionists (BIs) are not included on the RASP (MCFD does not have specific requirements for this group). Parents are responsible for ensuring that BIs are at least 19 years old and have a valid Criminal Record Check.

Autism Funding Programs – A Guide to Invoice Payment Forms

For more information on Autism Funding Programs in British Columbia see: Treatment Funding in BC.