UPDATE: We will soon update our website to accept orders.  For now, all orders for the Underlying Characteristics Checklists and other Ziggurat Materials can be made by emailing orders@texasautism.com

Underlying Characteristics Checklist and Individual Strengths and Skills Inventory

The Underlying Characteristics Checklist (UCC) was developed as a component of the Ziggurat Model. The UCC is an informal, nonstandardized assessment tool designed to identify characteristics across a number of domains associated with ASD.  It is not designed with a diagnostic cut-off score for ASD but is a valuable tool for evaluation of ASD. It is completed in conjunction with the Individual Strengths and Skills Inventory (ISSI), a parallel tool for identifying strengths across the same domains. The UCC is especially helpful for those working with school-aged individuals as the information gathered from the UCC provides a starting point for developing an IEP.

One of the greatest challenges in designing interventions for individuals with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) is the ability to “see the autism.”  The Underlying Characteristics Checklist (UCC) was designed to assist with this important task across the lifespan.

Each person with an ASD has unique skills, characteristics, and needs that must be considered when designing an individualized intervention program.  Identifying and addressing the underlying autism is a necessary but sometimes overlooked step in creating effective intervention programs.  This step is especially critical when behavior challenges are prominent.  Without an accurate perception of the inextricable relationship between behavior and the underlying ASD, one is more likely to punish behaviors than to work to prevent them and to teach missing skills.  This is not to say that all behavior difficulties are related to ASD; however, when uncertain, it is always better to intervene as if the behavior is related to the disability.  The Underlying Characteristics Checklist (UCC) helps to identify the characteristics of ASD.  There are five versions of the UCC described below:

UCC-HF (High Functioning)

The UCC-HF is intended for individuals age 6 through adulthood that have high-functioning autism spectrum disorder.

Underlying Characteristics Checklist - High Functioning

UCC-CL (Classic)

The UCC-CL is intended for individuals, 6 years through adulthood.  The term “classic” is used to describe those who are significantly below average in cognitive functioning.  Many of these individuals do not develop functional language skills.

Underlying Characteristics Checklist - Classic

UCC-EI (Early Intervention)

The UCC-EI is intended for individuals from 3 months through the fifth year (72 months).  The well-established need for early intervention places an impetus on early identification; however, even before the pattern of behaviors that result in the diagnosis of ASD is apparent, behaviors of concern emerge.  The UCC-EI facilitates intervention for this unique age-group while their diagnostic picture is developing.  

Read more about the UCC-EI in our Newsletter.

Underlying Characteristics Checklist - Early Intervention

UCC-SR-Adolescent (Self-Report Adolescent)

The UCC-SR-Adolescent is intended for individuals ages 12 through 18 years with characteristics or diagnosis of ASD and average or above average cognitive skills.


UCC-SR-Adult (Adult Self-Report)

The UCC-SR-Adult is intended for individuals ages 18+ years with characteristics or diagnosis of ASD and average or above-average cognitive skills.


Click on image to order from the publisher

Underlying Characteristics Checklist Manual

The UCC Manual provides detailed information on administration and use of the UCC.

Leave a Reply