UCAN Evaluation Process

University Center for Autism and Neurodevelopment

The University Center for Autism and Neurodevelopment (UCAN) evaluation is a comprehensive and complex process. The following outline describes our procedures and requirements.

UCAN Evaluation Requirements

Several requirements need to be fulfilled before a child or adolescent will be evaluated by the UCAN Team.

  • Age Limit: 18-months to 21 years.
  • Referral from a health or educational professional is required. We do not accept self-referrals. If you need help in finding a health and/or educational professional, please contact us. We do accept clients who have an Individual Education Plan (IEP) under the autism spectrum category who require a medical diagnosis. We work with school personnel to facilitate this process.

Steps to Complete an Evaluation

Step 1: Referral and Intake

  • Contact UCAN at (775) 682-7025.
  • Phone intake with the UCAN Program Coordinator.
  • Information gathered from the intake will help to determine if it is an appropriate referral.
  • A parent packet with registration forms, comprehensive information, and surveys is sent to you and is required to be completed and returned before an evaluation date is provided. Once we receive the packet, a team evaluation date may be scheduled.
  • You will be contacted to schedule an evaluation or discuss alternative options.

Step 2: Pre-evaluation

  • Approximately 1-2 months prior to the team evaluation, pre-evaluation testing needs to be completed. Several professionals from the team will contact you and schedule appointments to complete the pre-evaluation testing.
  • Assessments include the following:
    • Speech and language evaluation, which is conducted at the clinic.
    • Sensory profile that is typically conducted over the phone.
    • Autism Diagnostic Interview-Revised (ADI-R) which is conducted in the home or in the clinic.
    • Adaptive survey interview that is conducted in the home or in the clinic.
    • Observation of the child in his or her natural environment (i.e. school, playground, home).
    • Additional behavioral and educational questionnaires to be completed by parents and teachers are sent through the mail and need to be completed and returned.

Step 3: Team Evaluation

  • The team evaluation is conducted at the clinic and lasts for approximately 4 hours. Please arrive at your scheduled time.
  • At a minimum, the team is comprised of a child psychiatrist, child psychologist, speech pathologist, occupational therapist and developmental specialist.
  • Parents are introduced to the UCAN Team and interviewed by one or two of the team members.
  • The Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule (ADOS) is administered to the child by one member of the team while concurrently watched by the rest of the team and parents.
  • Subsequently, the team scores the ADOS and discusses diagnoses and recommendations.
  • Results, diagnosis, and recommendations are discussed with parents and provided with a written summary.

Step 4: Follow up

  • A follow up appointment is scheduled to provide additional support and specific resources based on the team's recommendations. This may include one appointment or several appointments from 1-2 weeks or several months.
  • A final comprehensive report is mailed to the family.
  • Subsequent follow up interviews are conducted in person or by phone one month, three months, six months and one year after the final evaluation to ensure that the family and child are accessing the recommended services.

Please review the UCAN Evaluation Process Flowchart to get a visual picture of the evaluation process.