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US News and World Report Badge for Neurosurgery 

Autism Center of Excellence

“Improving our understanding of the underlying biology of autism is critical for developing the necessary diagnostic and therapeutic tools that are so needed for successful early intervention.”

- Ilan Dinstein, PhD, UC San Diego Autism Center of Excellence

Autism is a neurodevelopmental disorder that affects social interaction, language and behavior. It typically appears in early childhood. The Autism Center at UC San Diego Health provides comprehensive clinical services to children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and their families. The Center is also one of the most prominent autism research centers in the world. We are developing new ways to identify and treat this complex disorder.

Designated a Center of Excellence by the National Institutes of Health in 2007, the Center treats and studies ASD, including:
  • Autistic disorder
  • Asperger syndrome
  • Pervasive developmental disorder-not otherwise specified (PDD-NOS)

Comprehensive evaluations are provided by a multidisciplinary team of clinical experts.

Treatment for children with autism is play-based and fun. Our Autism Intervention Research Program acts as the treatment arm of the Center, providing intensive and individualized behavioral treatment for children between the ages of 36 months and 12 years old, and training for their families. Children are carefully monitored to determine which interventions are the most effective for each individual. Treatment focuses on:
  • Building play skills
  • Enhancing social interactions
  • Stimulating cognitive development
  • Teaching spontaneous speech
  • Improving self-help skills


National Autism Association
The mission of the National Autism Association is to respond to the most urgent needs of the autism community, providing real help and hope so that all affected can reach their full potential.

San Diego County Chapter, Autism Society of America
Dedicated to improving the lives of all affected by autism by promoting meaningful participation and self-determination for individuals with ASD and their families.

San Diego Regional Center
Supporting people with developmental disabilities and their families in San Diego and Imperial Counties by providing services and access to other community resources.

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