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Columbia, SC Area Autism Resources

Columbia, SC Area Autism Resources

Additional local Columbia area resources for your family.

Our sole passion here at ABLE Kids is to provide your child or loved one the skills he/she needs to live a full and meaningful life. We have collected additional local Columbia area resources for your family, including local autism testing centers, mentoring & development opportunities, sensory friendly programs and activities, and options for assistance in paying for ABA Therapy services near you.

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Autism Testing Centers

PRISMA Health Children’s Hospital

Child Development and Behavioral Health

The Child Development and Behavioral Health Clinic at Prisma Health Children’s Hospital–Midlands provides consultations and evaluations for children with developmental, academic or behavioral difficulties. Our clinic is comprised of an interdisciplinary team of developmental pediatricians, psychologists and social workers. The clinic’s mission is to provide a comprehensive assessment in order to inform a multifaceted treatment plan.

Common diagnoses seen at our clinic include:

  • Autism spectrum disorder
  • Developmental delay
  • ADHD
  • Learning disability
  • Intellectual disability

After referral to our clinic, families meet with a developmental pediatrician or psychologist to discuss their concerns. Comprehensive assessments are planned to evaluate a child’s cognitive, academic and social-emotional development. Families participate in a face-to-face feedback meeting and receive individualized recommendations for their child. Our physicians also consult about medication as indicated. Families receive written reports after the conclusion of the visit.

Our office does not provide therapy or psychiatric treatment. We serve children ages 0-21 from Columbia, Lexington and across the Midlands. In addition, we are a training site for pediatric residents and third-year medical students, as well as students from a variety of other disciplines including speech/language pathology, psychology and genetic counseling.

PRISMA Health – 9 Richland Medical Park, Suite 210
Columbia, SC 29203

Phone: (803) 434-6598
Fax: 803-758-0142

SC Healthy Connections Medicaid – ASD Services

Get an ASD Diagnosis

In order to meet medical necessity for autism spectrum disorder (ASD) services, beneficiaries age 0-21 will have to have a diagnosis of ASD based on a comprehensive psychological assessment/testing from a licensed psychologist, licensed psychoeducational specialist (LPES) or developmental pediatrician that indicates that ASD treatment services are necessary for their behavioral health care.

View the Comprehensive Psychological Assessment Provider Directory for a listing of providers who can complete a comprehensive psychological assessment for an ASD diagnosis.

Psychologists, LPES or developmental pediatricians providers can also be found using the SCDHHS website,, and searching for the provider type “Medical Professional.” Once in the search engine, psychologists, LPES and developmental pediatricians providers can be found.

University of South Carolina

Psychology Services Center – Autism Assessment

Mission and Goals

In recognition of community needs, faculty within the University of South Carolina psychology department have created an Autism Diagnostic Clinic through the Psychology Services Center.  The goal of the Autism Diagnostic Clinic is to provide comprehensive, evidence-based and affordable assessment services for autism to the greater Columbia area.

Our Services

Autism Diagnostic Clinic assessment services include the evaluation of cognitive, behavioral and adaptive areas of development as well as specific autism-focused measures such as the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule (ADOS). A comprehensive written report is provided to parents that include recommendations regarding appropriate intervention and treatment services.


Diagnosticians are post-doctoral fellows and advanced doctoral students in clinical-community or school psychology at the University of South Carolina.  All diagnosticians are under the supervision of a licensed psychologist.

Scheduling Appointments

To make an appointment for the initial consultation for your child, please call the Psychology Services Center at (803) 777-7302.  We will assess your needs at the consultation.


Fees vary depending on the service provided.  A sliding scale is available based on income and family size. Please contact the center for details about specific fees.

Psychology Services Center
University of South Carolina
1331 Elmwood Avenue, Suite 140
Columbia, SC 29201

(803) 777-7302 / (803) 777-7363

Mentoring & Development


Best Buddies International is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to establishing a global volunteer movement that creates opportunities for one-to-one friendships, integrated employment, leadership development, and inclusive living for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD).


Who We Serve

The IDD community that Best Buddies serves includes, but is not limited to, people with Down syndrome, autism, Fragile X, Williams syndrome, cerebral palsy, traumatic brain injury, and other undiagnosed disabilities.



Best Buddies is the world’s largest organization dedicated to ending the social, physical, and economic isolation of the 200 million people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD). Our programs empower the special abilities of people with IDD by helping them form meaningful friendships with their peers, secure successful jobs, live independently, improve public speaking, self-advocacy and communication skills, and feel valued by society.


  • One-To-One Friendships
    • Builds friendships between people with and without IDD, offering social mentoring while improving the quality of life and level of inclusion.
  • Integrated Employment
    • Secures jobs for people with IDD, allowing them to earn an income, pay taxes, and support themselves.
  • Leadership Development
    • Educates and empowers people with and without IDD, to be leaders, public speakers, and advocates.
  • Inclusive Living
    • Providing a vibrant, integrated living opportunity for people with and without IDD.

Sensory Friendly Programs

AMC Theaters

Sensory Friendly Films

AMC is proud to partner with the Autism Society to offer unique movie showings where we turn the lights up, and turn the sound down, so you can get up, dance, walk, shout or sing! Our Sensory Friendly Film program is available on the second and fourth Saturday (family-friendly) and Tuesday evenings (mature audiences) of every month. Please check your local theatre listings for specific showtimes, and don’t forget to share your family fun with #AMCSensoryFriendly.

AMC Classic Dutch Square 14
421 Bush River Rd #80
Columbia, SC 29210

(803) 750-5130

The Ausome Gym

The Ausome Gym provides a safe, engaging, and educational play experience for all children, while focusing on those with special needs or sensory issues, or who are on the autism spectrum. Perfect for pre-school play time, special needs friends, and birthday parties, the Gym offers a motivating environment for movement and exploration.

The Ausome Gym
2 Harbison Way
Columbia, SC 29212

(803) 995-9673

Chuck E. Cheese

Sensory Sensitive Sundays

Chuck E. Cheese’s is proud to support families who have children with autism and special needs. We now offer a sensory-friendly experience on the first Sunday of every month opening 2 hours early. Our trained and caring staff is there to make sure each guest has a fun-filled visit. The Sensory Sensitive Sundays experience includes:

  • Less crowding and noise
  • Dimmed lighting
  • Show and music turned off or down
  • Limited appearances by Chuck E.
  • Food and games are offered


Chuck E. Cheese
6700 Abercorn
Savannah, GA 31405

(912) 355-6420

Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders and sensory processing differences are invited to join us for a sensory-friendly time, the first hour of operation (9-10 a.m.), the first Sunday of every month. Guests will have the opportunity to explore the museum in a safe and accepting environment, and enjoy interactive, hands-on activities. Open house twice a year and also specialty camp each summer.

EdVenture Kids Museum
211 Gervais St
Columbia, SC 29201

(803) 779-3100

Regal Cinemas

My Way Matinee

Regal’s My Way Matinee gives everyone the opportunity to experience a movie with the lights turned up and the volume turned down. This becomes safe space where our guests are free to express themselves by singing, crying, dancing, walking around, talking or shouting while enjoying Hollywood’s latest films! All screenings for our sensory friendly movies will begin at 10:30am on the second and fourth Saturday of the month for a special discounted ticket price!


Regal Sandhill IMAX & RPX
450 Town Center Pl
Columbia, SC 29229

(844) 462-7342

SC State Museum

SC State Museum has several permanent exhibits to explore–homeschoolers get free admission with your accountability group letter or member card. Additional fees for changing exhibits, planetarium and 4-D theater. Check the calendar for special sensory friendly events.

SC State Museum
301 Gervais St
Columbia, SC 29201

(803) 898-4921

Support Groups

Family Connection of South Carolina, Inc. is a network of parents working with community professionals to provide parent-to-parent support and assurance to families with children of all ages who have special needs. Programs and services are centered around parent-to-parent networking, a program based on the principle that families with shared experiences are uniquely qualified to help each other. Parents of children with disabilities are matched with Support Parents who have children with similar conditions. These trained veteran Support Parents are an invaluable source of support and encouragement because they have faced similar challenges and celebrations. There are Support Parents in all counties of South Carolina.

Family Connection of South Carolina
1800 St. Julian Place, Suite 104
Columbia, SC 29204

800-578-8750 (Toll Free)

South Carolina Autism Society

The South Carolina Autism Society is a statewide 501(c) (3) non-profit charitable organization that has been in existence for forty-six years. It relies on donations and sponsorships to provide quality of life assistance and training for persons affected by an autism spectrum disorder. The South Carolina Autism Society’s non-profit federal Tax ID number is 23-735-0663.


The mission of the South Carolina Autism Society (SCAS) is to equip those affected by Autism Spectrum Disorders with knowledge and support to maximize their quality of life.


Vision and Values:

 SCAS envisions individuals and families living with autism to be able to improve their quality of life, independence, and to be treated with the highest level of dignity, and to live in a society in which their talents and skills are appreciated and valued.

SCAS believes:

  • Individuals with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) have a right to fully participate in all of society
  • Individuals with ASD and their families deserve high quality information on autism
  • Individuals with ASD and their families have the right to information on all treatment options, the ability to evaluate each option and to make a selection of the treatment option that best fit their needs
  • Children with ASD have the right to a free appropriate public education
  • Individuals with ASD have the right to receive appropriate and quality services
  • Individuals with ASD who are receiving services have the right to receive those services without fear of abuse, neglect and exploitation
  • Individuals with ASD have the right to make decisions concerning their own lives


Paying For Services

South Carolina Medicaid 

This program provides coverage for Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) services for individuals under the age of 21. ASD coverage is provided for assessment and treatment services according to the severity and is based on medical necessity.

*We also work with South Carolina Medicaid CMO’s: Select Health, Absolute Total Care, Blue Choice Healthy Plan and more…

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