The Carolina Institute for Developmental Disabilities at UNC
The Carolina Institute includes:


Who We Serve

UNC’s Carolina Institute for Developmental Disabilities (CIDD) is a University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities (UCEDD) dedicated to providing exemplary clinical services to individuals of all ages who have concerns about or are at risk for intellectual and developmental disabilities. Thus, our specialized clinics focus exclusively on disorders that affect cognitive, social, communication, motor, and adaptive skill development. The CIDD also specializes in serving individuals with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities who may have co-existing behavioral, mental health, or medical health needs. Individuals who have or are suspected of having intellectual disability, autism spectrum disorder, traumatic brain injury, cerebral palsy, and/or genetic or medical conditions, which impact development, health, and independence would be appropriate referrals to the Institute.

Please note: Given the specialized nature of our services, there are limited appointment slots and many have lengthy waits. We do not accept referrals for individuals whose primary concerns are related to psychiatric (e.g., ADHD, depression), behavioral, or learning concerns (e.g., specific learning disorder) in the absence of known or suspected developmental disorders. In cases where a referral is made for a diagnostic evaluation, psychoeducational testing, or treatment when there is no indication of a potential developmental disorder, a more appropriate referral may be made.

Clinic Services

Our interdisciplinary faculty offer numerous clinical services designed to provide diagnostic clarification, consultation, as well as intervention and treatment planning for individuals with developmental disabilities and their families. Our evaluation services may include appointments with individual clinicians or an interdisciplinary team representing two or more of the following professional disciplines: Psychology, Speech-Language Pathology, Physical Therapy, Occupational Therapy, Psychiatry, Pediatrics, Audiology, Social Work, and Special Education. The composition of the team depends on referral needs. Click here to learn more about our clinic services.

What We Do:

• Evaluations to assess development or functioning levels for individuals when there are concerns about developmental delays/disabilities or a preexisting
    intellectual/developmental disorder
• Diagnostic evaluations to assess for possible neurodevelopmental disorders, such as autism or intellectual disability
• Evaluations and consultation for individuals with neurogenetic disorders that affect development
• Offer consultation, psychiatric, psychotherapy and behavior support services to individuals with intellectual/developmental disorders
• Offer social skills groups to individuals with social communication difficulties

What We DON’T Do:

• Evaluations for ADHD (although we do offer psychiatric medication management services for ADHD), anxiety, or other diagnoses when there are no concerns regarding an intellectual or developmental disability
• Educational testing for a specific learning concern in the absence of intellectual/developmental disability concerns (referrals for standard psychoeducational
  evaluations should go through an individual’s school program first given that educational assessments are typically not covered by insurance)
• Offer treatment to individuals who do not have any concerns regarding an intellectual or developmental disability
• Offer acute care or crisis intervention services, or serve as a primary care provider
• Offer ongoing speech-language therapy, occupational therapy, or physical therapy (though we currently offer evaluation and consultation services for speech-
  language and physical therapy)

If you have questions about our services, intake process, or other referrals, please contact the CIDD Intake Team via email at

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Community-based Interdisciplinary Pediatric Care Model for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders Implementation and Evaluation

The prevalence of Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASDs) in NC is now approximately 1 in 110. The provision effective clinical care for children and adolescents with ASDs is a rapidly emerging issue of importance. Individuals with ASDs have complex clinical needs most notably in the realm of mental health co-morbidity and behavioral challenges. Current clinical models to serve this need are rare and fragmented. Frequently medical professionals practice in isolation from non-medical professionals and families report poor inter-provider communication and limited guidance on navigating the complex mental health/behavioral health system. Key to this effort is a clinical partnership between a large interdisciplinary community pediatric practice in Greensboro, NC and a psycho-social autism focused outreach group(TEACCH). The medical providers in this partnership are 2 board certified developmental-behavioral pediatricians and the non-medical provider is a masters level psychologist from Greensboro TEACCH. The TEACCH therapist serves as an intake coordinator, clinic coordinator, helps develop behavioral interventions, and helps facilitate care coordination needs. The medical partners assess biomedical and/or psychiatric drivers for presenting behavioral concerns and helps to develop a treatment plan which include biological, psychological, and social interventions. The main objectives of this project are to establish a working partnership between the clinical entities, develop an integrated medical-psychosocial clinical service for this population, and put into place the Information Technology infrastructure to allow for this clinical activity. If partnership continuation is deemed feasible, we aim to begin planning for expansion of the IT infrastructure and the clinical partnership.

For more information, please contact: Rob Christian, M.D., FAAP Pediatrics and Psychiatry

Learn more about how to contact for services with the CIDD.

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