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Complex Developmental Behavioural Conditions

CDBC provides diagnostic assessments for children & youth who have difficulties in multiple areas of function.
Our services

Child sitting on a pile of books

What do we do?

The Complex Developmental Behavioral Conditions (CDBC) Network provides diagnostic assessments for children ages 18 months to 19 years across the province of British Columbia. The CDBC Network is a diagnostic service, meaning only assessments are available here and not intervention or management services. Your child will be assessed by a dedicated team of pediatric specialists. The clinicians involved in your child’s assessment may include developmental pediatricians, psychologists, psychiatrists, social workers, speech language pathologists, occupational therapists and physiotherapists.

Services are provided regionally at multiple locations across BC. Where your child is referred to depends on where you live.

Who do we see?

We see children and youth

  • who may have an intellectual development disorder.
  • who may have prenatal substance exposure, such as alcohol, that has significantly impacted their development.
  • with a genetic disorder where there are additional developmental concerns.
  • with a complex presentation beyond the scope of other community health teams
  • whose complex presentation indicates a need for specialty assessment

If a referral is declined, the family will be provided a reason and recommendations for next steps . Unfortunately, demand for our services are high and accepted referrals can face a waiting period. While waiting for an assessment, we recommend looking through our Resources tab to see what services your child could be eligible for.

Your Visit

If your child is coming for a CDBC assessment at Sunny Hill Health Centre, we are located at BC Children's Hospital Entrance 5. There is a drop-off area for unloading, 4 accessible parking stalls, and 6 additional parking spots right in front. There is also a valet who can park your car for you depending on availability. Valet service is free and regular parking fees apply. Click here for detailed information about directions and parking.

For more details about coming to Sunny Hill, watch the Outpatient Welcome video. You can also find a list of amenities available at Sunny Hill.

Before your first appointment, you will receive a call from our intake staff. They will ask your permission to contact other people in the community who know your child to gather any previous reports or information that will help us understand your child's assessment needs.

You will also receive some forms in the mail to complete and sign and return to us to help us gather information.

You may have one or more appointments as part of your child's assessment. Sometimes your appointments may be booked at one of our partner sites that may be closer to your community.

For more information on what to expect at your CDBC appointment, please see the documents below. 

Appointment Handout - Family Conference                                                              Appointment Handout - Physician                                                                                                Appointment Handout - Physician C3                                                                                          Appointment Handout - Occupational Therapy (OT)                                                          Appointment Handout - Physiotherapy (PT)                                                                         Appointment Handout - Psychology                                                                                           Appointment Handout - Social Work (SW)                                                                              Appointment Handout - Speech Language Pathology (SLP)                                                                                                                          


Resources for Families

It can take a while to get an assessment, so in the meantime we encourage you to consider some of these resources and activities that can support your child while you wait.

Focused occupational, physical, speech and language therapy may be recommended to support your child's development . These types of therapies are available through different early childhood intervention programs. The BC Government website offers an overview of what these programs are. Your family doctor, pediatrician, or public health nurse can advise on how to access them in your local area.

School aged children (kindergarten onwards) can access therapy supports from the school aged therapy program as well.  Availability of access varies between school districts and parents should contact their child's school for more information.


Private services for occupational, physical, speech, and language therapy are also available throughout the province for a fee typically paid out of pocket. However, supports are available in the form of grants from charities and extended benefits from employers.

Children with Indigenous heritage may be eligible for funding via Jordan's Principle. Jordan's Principle is a federal program to ensure First Nations children get the services they need when they need them.


To submit a request for services through Jordan's Principle, call: 1-855-JP-CHILD (1-855-572-4453) or visit If you have any difficulties accessing services through Jordan's Principle, please contact your provincial child advocate or ombudsperson or the 24-hour Jordan's Principle line (above).

To find a private Speech & Language Pathologist, Occupational Therapist, Physiotherapist or Psychologist:


Disability Tax Credit

The disability tax credit (DTC) is a non-refundable federal tax credit that helps persons with disabilities or their supporting persons reduce the amount of income tax they may have to pay. Part of the application requires a doctor, nurse practitioner, or other qualified health professional to complete. Visit this page to download the application (including large print and fillable forms):

Registered Disability Savings Plan (RDSP)

A registered disability savings plan (RDSP) is a savings plan intended to help parents and others save for the long term financial security of a person. In order to open a RDSP account, you must also apply for the disability tax credit.

The following organizations offer financial aid in certain circumstances for services that would otherwise be 'out of pocket' such as private speech and occupational therapy:

Variety Club BC

CKNW Kids Fund


A number of BC-based community organizations provide peer-led activities, educational resources, and family support.

Special Olympics BC

Boys and Girls Club of Canada



Family Support Institute of BC is a provincial not for profit society committed to supporting families who have a family member with a disability. FSI's supports and services are free. 

  • Find Support BC website: - a database to search for services and supports
  • MyBooklet BC website: - a customizable profile you can make about your child to share with other members of their care team. 

Ministry of Children and Family Development's Child and Youth Mental Health (CYMH) teams provide a range of mental health assessment and treatment options for children and youth and their families at no cost. 100 CYMH intake clinics can be accessed in-person and virtually/by phone.

Kelty Mental Health Resource Centre provides mental health and substance use information, resources, and peer support to families across BC. They also provide information and resources to people of all ages with an eating disorder or disordered eating concern. Peer support for parents are available through their program called FamilySmart. All services are free of charge.


Foundry is a province-wide network of integrated health and social service centres for young people ages 12-24. Foundry centres provide a one-stop-shop for young people to access mental health care, substance use services, primary care, social services, and youth and family peer supports. They provide safe, non-judgmental care, information and resources, and work to reach young people earlier – before health challenges become problematic. Foundry brings health and social services together in a single place to make it easier for young people to find the care, connection and support they need.

After an assessment with CDBC, a report will be given including advice and recommendations around curriculum and access planning. Schools are an important partner to help put these recommendations into practice, as they can offer designations and supports according to policy guidelines.

BC Ministry of Education Special Needs Education Policy Manual

In this Special Needs Education Policy Manual, you will find all the detailed information about the school's designation system for special needs support and how it may impact your child. The document contains high-level technical language and complex information so you may want to reach out to your school to help understand what your child is able to access.

Inclusion BC

Inclusion BC defines inclusion as "…an attitude and approach that embraces diversity and differences and promotes equal opportunities for all. Inclusion is not just about people with disabilities. When our communities include and embrace everyone, we are ALL better able to reach our full potential."

This is an organization that works on best practices for supporting children with special needs in school. Their website includes many resources in plain language about special educational needs.

Parent Handbook to Inclusive Education


The FASD Strategies Not Solutions booklet is a resource to provide information for caregivers, individuals and their community to support people with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD).

BC Government Disability Assistance can help you if you need financial or health support. You must be designated as a Person with Disabilities (PWD) to receive this type of assistance.

Services to Adults with Developmental Disabilities (STADD) provides a Navigator who can help you plan for the future and on your journey to becoming an adult. They can help connect you with supports from government and your community. Eligibility is for youth with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) or FASD between the ages of 16 to 24 who would like help planning for the future.

Family are encouraged to visit the BC Children Hospital's ON TRAC website for a youth toolkit on transitioning to adult care.

Community Living BC (CLBC) can also help with transition planning  and access to funds and supports for individuals who have a diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) or Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) and also have significant difficulty doing things on their own.

Family Support and Resource Centre 

The Family Support and Resource Centre (FSRC) is a library that empowers patients, families, supporters, and community members with health information. People in BC and the Yukon can borrow from our collection for free.

Other sites:

Eligibility for community and government services varies and may depend on diagnosis and functional ability. The Ministry of Children and Family Development have recently announced recent changes to how children and youth with support needs are served. To learn more about the changes and what to expect in the coming months, please visit their website.

Resources for Clinicians:

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