Frequently Asked Questions

Autism Diagnostic Clinic - Frequently Asked Questions

This page provides answers to some of the frequently asked questions about the integrated Center for Autism Spectrum Disorders’ Autism Diagnostic Clinic (ADC).
What should I bring with me to clinic?  

Bring any comforting items that you think will keep your child happy and calm. You and your child will participate in a number of assessments and interviews, which can make for a long day. Ideas of items to bring include:

  • Snacks and drinks (vending machines and water fountains are also available in the building);
  • Preferred comfort items (blankies, stuffed toys, etc.); and
  • Small toy items to occupy your child during the clinical interview.
    • Some toys will be provided in the clinical interview room.
    • If you choose to bring an electronic device (e.g., iPad, tablet, etc.) for the clinical interview, please refrain from presenting this to your child until the clinician directs you to do so.
Why should electronic toys be delayed during the clinical interview?  

Although a major focus of the clinical interview is to gather information about each child’s history and areas of current concern, it also serves as a forum for the clinician to observe your child’s social behavior. Engaging with electronic devices can compete with these social behaviors and make it difficult for the clinician to accurately determine your child’s social functioning.

Who should I bring with me to the visit?  

A caregiver and the child are all that is needed, but some additional people may be helpful, particularly during the clinical interview. An extra pair of hands may be helpful to occupy your child so that you may speak unencumbered with the clinician. If you are able to bring additional caregivers, whose insights may be useful during the clinical interview, please invite them to come along.

Should I get a babysitter for my other children?  

Given the interactive nature of all of the assessments and interviews conducted during your ADC appointment, it may be challenging for you to participate freely in assessments if you bring other children with you. Consider making arrangements for other children during your ADC appointment. Please let a member of the ADC team know if you have time constraints (e.g., need to pick up a sibling from school). We will do our best to make adjustments to your schedule.

How long with my ADC appointment last?  

Check-in begins at 8 a.m. on the day of your appointment. You may receive an automated message from the University of Nebraska Medical Center. Please disregard this automated message as it provides an incorrect start time. All ADC check-ins begin at 8 a.m. unless otherwise directed by one of our clinicians. Each assessment takes roughly one hour to complete. Typically, three to four clients are seen in clinic and rotate across the different assessments. All clients have a lunch break at the same time. During the lunch hour, the ADC team meets to discuss their impressions and determine recommendations. We call families back from lunch in a staggered manner for feedback with the group. Including the assessments and feedback, your appointment may end as late as 2 p.m. If you will require a note or documentation for your child’s school, please let the clinician know at the time of the appointment.

What if my child does have an autism spectrum disorder?  

The Autism Diagnostic Clinic does more than just diagnose ASD. If your child does not meet the diagnostic criteria for ASD, the team may confer other diagnoses that best explain your child’s particular behavioral patterns. Referrals for more directed assessments for other disorders (e.g., attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder) may also be provided. Whatever the outcome, the team will provide you with an individualized list of recommendations to help you contact the services that would be beneficial for you and your child.

Who should I call if I have questions?  

If you have any questions or concerns regarding the information in this packet or your child’s schedule, please contact the ADC team at 402-559-6341.

My child is having problems now! What should I do if I need help before my ADC appointment?  

The Nebraska Family Helpline is a free, confidential resource for parents that is available 24 hours a day to provide assistance to families in crisis. This service can be accessed:

If you have an emergency contact 911 or local law enforcement.