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170 Elizabeth St., Main Floor, Clinic 7 or 9
Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. (except for holidays)

About the Clinic

The ABILITY Program (Adaptive, Behavioural, Intellectual & Developmental Disability, Integrated Tertiary care for Youth & Children) is a program within the Division of Paediatric Medicine at SickKids which functions in collaboration with the Department of Psychiatry, and in partnership with Surrey Place. The program offers both in-patient consultation and out-patient care.

The ABILITY Clinic is situated in SickKids within the Paediatric Consultation Clinic. It is a referral-based clinic for children and youth with a diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder and/or an Intellectual and Developmental Disability with any of the following:

  • Developmental or behavioural challenges impacting access to medically necessary care at SickKids that would benefit from Adaptive Care Planning
  • Behavioural escalation leading to significant health impact (including severe restricted eating causing growth and nutrition deficiencies)
  • Developmental, behaviour, functional and/or mental health regression
  • Down Syndrome consultation for patients meeting specific complexity criteria

Pre-appointment Instructions

What to bring

  • Toys, books, nut-free snacks, diapers and formula to keep your child comfortable and occupied in case there is a wait.
  • Specific instructions will be provided to you at the time of booking (if any).


Your appointment may take place in Clinic 7 or Clinic 9. You will receive a phone call or email with the details including location of your appointment.

What to Expect During Your Visit

Appointments generally last from 1 to 2 hours, depending on the reason for the appointment, and while we try to be on time, sometimes there is a wait. Please be on time for your appointment, if you are late, we will need to shorten your allotted appointment time to limit impact to other patients and families.

On arrival in the clinic, you will register your child at the desk. Even if you have already registered at another clinic, you need to check-in at the registration desk.

Your child may be assessed prior to seeing a doctor, which includes weight, height, temperature, pulse respirations and blood pressure reading.

Each member of our team plays an important role in the patient/family assessment, education and support. We may suggest that your child be referred to other clinics for assessments.


The ABILITY team consists of general and developmental paediatricians, a child and youth psychiatrist, board certified behaviour analysts, developmental service workers, a developmental consultant, a service coordinator, and nurses.

Latiffe Adair

Program Coordinator

Arezu Alami

Board Certified Behaviour Analyst

Nicole Crawford

Developmental Service Worker

Kelsey Ferguson

Board Certified Behaviour Analyst

Dana Frisch


Julie Gardner


Joelene Huber


Rachel Markin


Andrea Seater

Developmental Consultant

Chantal St Jules


Nicole Staples-Dorey

Developmental Service Coordinator

Vanessa Visconti

Developmental Service Worker

Jacqueline Weiss


Information for Referrals

Our team brings a developmental and behavioural approach to care that is specialized and individualized to ensure all children, regardless of neuro-developmental status, receive the right care at the right time.

Program criteria includes child or youth with diagnosed IDD or ASD requiring tertiary level medical care at SickKids and any one of the four indications:

  1. Behavioural challenges impacting the ability to receive medically necessary care at SickKids and requiring Adaptive Care Planning
  2. Behavioural / developmental escalation leading to significant health impact or family crisis resulting in high risk of hospital visits
  3. Developmental, functional or behavioural regression
  4. Infants and young children with Down Syndrome with medical complexity requiring consultation

We expect our patients to maintain close contact with their primary care provider as ABILITY is a consultation service and does not provide primary care services.

If you are a health-care provider and wish to make a referral to our clinic, please review our referral process.

For family members of children with Down Syndrome, you can make a referral to early intervention, speech and language, respite, and audiology (before 12 months of age) services. These do not require a doctor's referral.

Resources for Families

You can find links to our resource directory below. These include early intervention services, family support networks, childcare and schools, programs, and medical information on Down Syndrome.

Down Syndrome resource guides:

Coming to a clinic appointment

It's important to come prepared and be on time for a clinic appointment. Visit Coming for Clinic Appointments to read appointment guidelines that are applicable for most clinical appointments at SickKids.

You’ll find information on how to prepare and what to bring, what to do if you/your child are sick before your appointment or you need to cancel,  and important things to know about the SickKids philosophy.

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