University Autism Center

As a Missouri Autism Center for Excellence, our primary goal is to decrease the amount of wait-time a family may experience in Missouri before being seen by a qualified diagnostic team when a child or student exhibits characteristics that may be consistent with a diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder. With timely, accurate diagnoses, families, school personnel and medical personnel will be better equipped to provide beneficial treatment for improved outcomes, hopefully at the earliest age possible.

Evaluations conducted at the University Autism Center follow the Missouri Autism Guidelines Initiative Publication, “Autism Spectrum Disorders: Missouri Best Practice Guidelines for Screening, Diagnosis and Assessment” A 2010 Consensus Publication.

Diagnostic Evaluations:

a comprehensive evaluation to determine the presence of an autism spectrum or related disorder; evaluations are conducted by a licensed clinical psychologist and are multi-disciplinary to include speech language, behavioral, or other professionals as needed to render an accurate diagnosis; if we are not equipped for the type of evaluation required (i.e. those involving complex medical or genetic considerations), we will assist with a referral to an appropriate provider.

Comprehensive Re-evaluation:

a comprehensive evaluation to determine current levels of performance and/ or current therapeutic or educational needs; usually conducted when there has been no comprehensive psychological evaluation completed recently; may be conducted for developing an appropriate treatment plan; may include multi-disciplinary evaluation with speech language, behavioral, or other professionals as needed and determined in consult with referring agency.

Speech Language:

  • Speech and/or Language Evaluation: a targeted or comprehensive evaluation to determine the presence of a speech and/or language disorder; may also be conducted for treatment planning or for assessing the appropriateness of an Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) or other assistive communication device (such as iPad).
  • Comprehensive Assessment of Social Communication: primarily for treatment planning purposes, this assessment focuses on determining a client’s skills and abilities for communicating in social situations in any environment- home, school, work, or leisure; this assessment is designed for individuals who are considered ‘high functioning’ and typically have verbal communication skills established.

Behavior Intervention:

  • Functional Behavioral Assessment: Systematic process of identifying specific setting events, antecedents, and consequences that are creating and/or maintaining an identified behavior (or behaviors); this assessment is best performed in the environment(s) where the identified behavior(s) occur and results in specific recommendations regarding treatment planning for reducing and/or ameliorating the identified behavior(s); this assessment is commonly conducted prior to providing targeted behavioral intervention/treatment services.
  • Broad Skills-Based Assessment: Natural environment observations; structured skills assessments; functional assessments for challenging behavior; and reports that include individualized recommendations, treatment plans, and objectives. Can include specific skills areas such a toilet training, food selectivity, etc.


Phone: 573.986.4985
Fax: 573.986.4994
University Autism Center
611 North Fountain Street
Cape Girardeau, Missouri 63701
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