Who we are
As the only Approved Autism Evaluation Center located in Southwest Michigan for Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan and Blue Care Network, the Western Evaluation Center for Autism and Neurodevelopmental Disorders (WECAN) at Western Michigan University offers comprehensive, interdisciplinary diagnostic evaluations for autism spectrum disorder. Our diagnostic team uses an interprofessional, collaborative approach to assessment to examine a child’s skills, development and behavior. The team uses broad-based assessment measures, autism-specific measures, and observational tools. We offer diagnostic clarity related to autism and developmental concerns and provide individualized treatment recommendations based upon evaluation results and the child and family’s needs.
Our collaborative approach provides a comprehensive evaluation for children identified as having a developmental concern, which may include autism spectrum disorder. Our multidisciplinary team includes a developmental behavioral pediatrician, clinical psychologist and a speech and language pathologist, who will meet and work with you and your child during the evaluation. WECAN supports pre-professional student training, therefore student clinicians will be involved in the comprehensive evaluation, under supervision by faculty members.
Using a variety of formal and informal assessment measures and direct observation, our team identifies specific neurodevelopmental processes that are affecting your child's functioning within daily activities and routines. This includes assessment of your child's developmental and cognitive skills; speech, language and communication; adaptive functioning (e.g., self-help skills); social interactions; mood and behavior; and medical evaluation.
Preparing for your WECAN evaluation
Physician referral is required for a diagnostic evaluation through the Western Evaluation Center for Autism and Neurodevelopmental Disorders. If you have concerns that your child may demonstrate signs of autism spectrum disorder, talk with your child’s health care provider. Your child’s doctor will help you to decide if further evaluation is needed and can facilitate a referral to WECAN if appropriate.
Once our clinic receives the physician referral, we will contact you by phone to ensure that our clinic is able to meet your child and family’s needs. If it is determined that our clinic can meet your child and family’s needs, a comprehensive evaluation will be scheduled with the diagnostic team. If it is determined that our clinic is not able to meet your family’s current needs, we will assist your family in linking you with other community resources and agencies that will be able to help you.
Caregivers are essential members to the diagnostic team and are involved in each of the three appointments that make up the evaluation process. Caregiver involvement during the diagnostic evaluation includes completing a developmental interview with the psychologist and completing surveys related to your child. You will also have an opportunity to observe and participate during the team testing day. After the evaluation, you will participate in a family feedback session with WECAN team members to review results of the evaluation, diagnostic impressions and treatment recommendations. Our team’s goal is to address your family’s questions and concerns, help you to better understand your child’s individual strengths and areas for growth, and develop an action plan for treatment to help your child continue to develop to reach his or her full potential.
WECAN at Western Michigan University participates with the following insurance plans:
- Blue Cross Blue Shield Traditional
- Blue Cross Blue Shield TRUST
- Blue Care Network