Neurodevelopmental disorders affect the way an individual’s brain and nervous system form, which as a result, create differences in the way they work. There are many different neurodevelopmental disorders, but one of the most prevalent ones is autism spectrum disorder (ASD).
People on the autism spectrum have different ways of socializing, communicating, and processing sensory input (how the world around them looks, feels, sounds, smells, and tastes). It is important to know that ASD is a spectrum disorder, meaning ASD affects every person differently. One person on the autism spectrum may need different levels of support than another person on the autism spectrum. Some may need support in many areas of life, while some may need no support at all.
ASD can be diagnosed in a couple of different ways. The first of these is a medical diagnosis, which comes from a medical doctor (i.e., primary care provider, pediatrician, psychiatrist). The second would be through comprehensive testing. You can ask your primary care provider, pediatrician, psychiatrist for a Comprehensive Autism Diagnostic Evaluation (CADE) referral, to the UFHealth Center for Autism and Neurodevelopment (CAN). A CADE is conducted by a psychologist who uses multiple assessment tools to determine if the individual meets diagnostic criteria for ASD.
CAN helps patients and their families navigate the process of receiving an ASD diagnosis and finding services that best fit their needs within our center, UFHealth, and the community.
Together we CAN
The mission of UF Health Center for Autism and Neurodevelopment (CAN) is:
- to provide centralized and state of the art transdisciplinary diagnostic and clinical treatment services for children and adults with neurodevelopmental disorders
- to use basic, clinical, and translational science approaches to answer key questions and accelerate research about autism and other neurodevelopmental disorders
- to inform, expand, and facilitate innovative university training programs in assessment, treatment, and education of individuals with neurodevelopmental disorders among medical, nursing, psychology, education, and other professionals
- to empower families to partner with clinicians and researchers to expand community outreach, increase advocacy efforts, and extend the care of individuals with neurodevelopmental disorders throughout the lifespan
- to create an inclusive local community by providing support during the transition to adulthood for individuals autism and neurodevelopmental disorders