Clinical Services: CARING Clinic

The Care and Research in Neurogenetics Clinic or the CARING Clinic (formerly the Developmental Neurogenetics or DNG) is a multidisciplinary clinic that evaluates and treats children and adults with neurodevelopmental disorders and known genetic syndrome or variant.

With rapid advances in genetic testing and its routine use in the medical evaluation of a child with a neurodevelopmental disorder (including autism spectrum disorder, intellectual disability, and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder), at least 30% of children with a neurodevelopmental disorder now hold a genetic diagnosis. Unfortunately, the diagnostic precision of genetic testing has outpaced clinical management. There exists considerable disparity in the care of these complex children in the community, with uncertainty regarding the prognosis, medical monitoring, and treatments that may be effective for children with these rare disorders.

The CARING Clinic was established to address this disparity and provide precision medicine services for children with neurodevelopmental disorders. The clinic also recognizes that some of the disparity in care is due to a lack of providers in the community with the experience and expertise to take care of these children with multisystemic problems. In order to address this problem, the clinic is also a training clinic in which pediatric neurology, genetics, and child psychiatry fellow physicians observe and participate in the care. The CARING clinic provides a multidisciplinary care setting that combines excellence in clinical diagnosis and management for these children with neurodevelopmental disorders and associated genetic syndromes.

At first consultation, the patient receives a comprehensive and multi-disciplinary evaluation from a team of neurologists, child psychiatrists and geneticists. Further specialty consultation and behavioral assessments can be provided as needed. This clinic also provides opportunities for participating in longitudinal studies that lay a foundation for future clinical trials for rare disorders. Additionally, the clinic ties eligible children into a variety of research studies and treatment opportunities through UCLA CART (Center for Autism Research and Treatment) and IDDRC (Intellectual Development and Disabilities Research Center).

The CARING Clinic Team:


Shafali Spurling Jeste, MD
Principal Investigator/Associate Professor in Psychiatry and Neurology

Julian Agosto-Martinez, MD
PhD, FACMG, FAAP
Associate Professor in Genetics

Rujuta Bhatt Wilson, MD
Assistant Professor



Benjamin Schneider, M.D.
Attending Psychiatrist

Charlotte DiStefano, PhD
Clinical Instructor
Clinical Psychologist


Careese Stephens
Clinical Coordintor