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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The Speak-Up Project: Developing an Innovative Model for Teaching Self-Advocacy Tools to Transition-Age Students with Autism Spectrum Disorder

The Speak-Up! Project (SUP) will develop a self-advocacy curriculum that meets the learning needs of high school students with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). The SUP approach will be derived from research that has validated methods of instruction and curriculum that are effective for adolescents with ASD and related learning difficulties. With the SUP curriculum, students can learn and apply self-advocacy tools to experience a successful, self-determined transition from school to community.
The proposed self-advocacy curriculum contains evidence-based methods in an innovative, participatory instructional format, incorporating best practice methods for the instruction of students with autism. The SUP curriculum will be developed from Youths 4 Advocacy Speak Up! an existing curriculum, and will address four components of self-advocacy that are identified in the best-practice literature: self-awareness, communicating effectively, problem-solving steps, and rights and responsibilities.
A stakeholder group has been recruited that comprises the full range of relevant participants including young emerging leaders with autism and/or other developmental disabilities, transition coordinators, school administrators, family members, and experts in the field of autism, self-advocacy, transition, and education.
During Years One and Two, activities and written curricula will be sampled with high school students in resource classrooms in four school districts across North Carolina. Year Three will involve a pilot study of the full curriculum draft in one classroom. After the SUP team makes final revisions, the resulting SUP curriculum will be ready for an efficacy study.

For more information, please contact: Deb Zuver, M.A., LMFT, RDT/BCT

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

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