Autism Diagnostics and Treatment

 



The Autism rotation at UIC is individualized to meet the clinical training needs and goals of each intern. Opportunities are available for interns with little or no experience in the area of autism, as well as for interns who already have ample experience in the area of autism, but who are seeking more advanced training. Interns meet with the director of the program at the start of the training year to assess needs and define goals, and to determine an appropriate time commitment and schedule based on training goals. Clinical training is conducted via the Autism Clinic housed in the Department of Disability and Human Development (DHD) at UIC. Intern experiences may include the development of competency in conducting diagnostic evaluations of individuals with suspected ASD, which includes training on and reliability work with diagnostic instruments (ADI-R and ADOS), assessment of adaptive functioning, cognitive and developmental testing, language testing, interpretive feedback to parents, and integrative report writing. Treatment and school consultation experiences are also available and strongly encouraged.

The Autism Clinic (Jennifer Gorski, Ph.D., Director) is a lifespan clinic with an emphasis on diagnostic evaluations for individuals with suspected ASD. The Autism Clinic also provides parent training, behavioral intervention, individual treatment, social skills groups, and school consultation for individuals with ASD. The Autism Clinic is a Training Center site for The Autism Program (TAP) of Illinois, a systems development initiative designed to create and enhance community networks that promote best practice in the diagnosis, treatment, and education of children with ASD. In Chicago, TAP Training Center activities have focused on parent and professional training in the community, particularly for underserved minority groups.

Supervisors
Jennifer Gorski, Ph.D. and Marrea Winnega, Ph.D.  

Research Programs:

In addition to clinical programs, UIC houses world renowned researchers in the area of autism. The National Institute of Child Health and Human Development recently launched the Autism Centers of Excellence (ACE), a federally funded effort to develop multidisciplinary research on Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). UIC is 1 of 5 ACE sites and is undergoing a large-scale investigation of the genetic, neurobiological, and cognitive features of individuals with ASD. This project also aims to investigate pharmacological agents useful for treating autism. Investigators include Edwin H. Cook, Jr., M.D., John Sweeney, Ph.D., and Fedra Najjar, M.D. Currently, there is no established rotation for interns in the context of these research programs; however, interns are welcome to meet with investigators during the course of their training year to discuss common interests and potential goals.