What to do before your child’s first appointment

If you or your pediatrician notices signs of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in your child, it may be time to visit a specialist. To schedule an appointment at Marcus Autism Center, visit our appointments page and have your healthcare provider submit a referral form.

Preparing for your first visit

At your first appointment, you’ll meet your provider. You will be asked to explain your needs and goals for the visit. Providers at Marcus Autism Center want to best help you and your child. This is easier when you are honest and open about what you’d like to accomplish.

Some caregivers bring a list of questions, concerns and goals to share with their provider at each appointment. This helps providers and makes it less likely you will forget to discuss something important.

The process will move more smoothly if you know details of your child's medical, developmental and educational history. This includes information about which specialists your child has seen in the past, results of previous medical testing and the services your child is receiving at school or elsewhere.

Important documents to have ready

Have copies of your child’s medical and school records available. You may be asked to send copies of certain records in advance or to bring them to your appointment.

Your provider will want to review:

  • Medical records from previous visits, including results of any medical testing, such as MRIs, CT scans, electroencephalogram (EEG), sleep studies, genetic testing, or other blood, urine, or spinal fluid testing
  • Psychiatric evaluations
  • Inpatient psychiatric admission records
  • Psychological testing, including Babies Can’t Wait evaluations, speech evaluations and psychological evaluations
  • Your child’s most recent individualized education program (IEP)
  • Any other relevant school reports

We know you want your child to get the best care possible, as fast as possible. And we understand that waiting for an appointment can be difficult. Read more about the positive steps you can take during that time.


We recognize that every child is unique and that the content of this article may not work for everyone. This content is general information and is not specific medical advice. We hope these tips will serve as a jumping-off point for finding the best approach to helping a child with autism. Always consult with a doctor or healthcare provider if you have any questions or concerns about the health of a child. In case of an urgent concern or emergency, call 911 or go to the nearest emergency department right away. Some physicians and affiliated healthcare professionals on the Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta team are independent providers and are not our employees.