State Diagnostic and Counseling Centre (SDCC), Iceland

The State Diagnostic and Counselling Centre (SDCC) in Iceland was established 1986. To begin with, the SDCC was defined and operated within the Disability Act, but from 2003 the SDCC was run according to special law (83/2003) first by the Ministry of Social Affairs and then Ministry of Welfare (now including social affairs and health). The SDCC is the only tertiary institute serving children with serious neuro-developmental disorders in Iceland (e.g. autism; intellectual disabilities; cerebral palsy; rare diseases). The director of the SDCC is a paediatrician and the staff includes, behavior analysts, occupational therapists, social workers, paediatricians, physiotherapists, psychologist, special education teachers, and speech and language pathologists, altogether about 60 people. The hallmarks of the SDCC are the emphasis on trans-disciplinary teamwork, early detection and intervention, family centred services, and clinical research.


Evald Saemundsen, MA, MS, PhD.
Evald Saemundsen, MA, MS, PhD.Head of Research, SDCC.
Years of experience: 24
Specific expertise: Epidemiology of autism; Diagnosis of autism and phenotyping; ADI-R; ADOS.

Evald Saemundsen, MA, MS, PhD.

  • 2012- Clinical associate professor, Medical Faculty, University of Iceland.
  • 2008: Ph.D. in Bio-medical Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, University of Iceland.
  • 1993: Licensed specialist in developmental disabilities (Ministry of Health, Iceland).
  • 1990-1991: Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam, Holland: Doctoraal (MS), Child Neuropsychology.
  • 1980: Licenced psychologist.
  • 1976-1978: Université de Provence (Aix-Marseille I), France: Maitrice de Psych (MA).
  • 1972-1975: University of Iceland: Major: Psychology.
  • 2013- Head of Research, SDCC.
  • 2012-2014: Sub-investigator at SDCC in clinical trials where the target was the core symptoms of autism.
  • 2011- Member of the Advisory Board for Psychology, Reykjavik University.
  • 2011-2014: Co-leader of WG3 in COST BM-1004 ESSEA networking project.
  • 2009- Member of the Icelandic team in the PsychCNV.
  • 2007: Chair of the scientific committee of The 5th Nordic Conference on Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders, Reykjavik, Iceland.
  • 1997-2012 Director of Services, Division of Autism, SDCC.
  • Clinical child psychology
  • Neuro-developmental disorders and handicaps
  • Autism
  • Research
  • Epidemiology


Sigrídur Lóa Jónsdóttir Cand. Psych.
Sigrídur Lóa Jónsdóttir Cand. Psych.Clinical and research psychologist at the SDCC.
Years of experience: 34
Specific expertise: ADI-R and ADOS certified international trainer; Early identification and diagnosis of ASD.

Sigrídur Lóa Jónsdóttir Cand. Psych.

  • Training and reliability procedures in the use of ADOS (2001) and ADI-R (2005) at Catherine Lord´s labs in Chicago and Michigan.
  • 1995 Licensed specialist in developmental disabilities.
  • 1993-1994 Continuing education in applied behaviour analysis, University of California, Los Angeles.
  • 1980 Licensed clinical psychologist.
  • 1980 Cand. Psych. Arhus University, Denmark.
  • 1977 Bachelor in psychology, University of Iceland.
  • 2013 Clinical and research psychologist at the Division for Toddlers, SDCC.
  • 2011-2013 Project leader in Iceland of the Leonardo funded project STAMPPP.
  • 2011- Member of COST-ESSEA Action (BM1004): Participant in WG 3 that focuses on early detection of ASD.
  • 2008- International certified trainer in the use of ADI-R and ADOS.
  • 1996-2003 Project leader of the Iceland Young Autism Project, which was a part of a multi-site outcome study on early intensive behavioural intervention.
  • 1997-2012 Clinical and research psychologist at the SDCC, Division for Autism.
  • 1982-1995 Director of treatment homes for children with autism.
  • 1980-2013 Part time lecturer at the University of Iceland.
  • Clinical child psychology
  • Developmental disabilities and handicaps
  • Early intervention based on applied behavioral analysis (ABA)
  • Parent and staff training; Research

Ingibjörg Georgsdóttir MD, PhD.

  • 2013 PhD at the Faculty of Medicine, University of Iceland.
  • Certification in Iceland in paediatrics (1988) and in neonatology (1989).
  • 1988 General medical certificate in Canada.
  • 1988 Fellow in Neonatology at the Children’s Hospital and University of British Columbia.
  • 1986-1987 Resident and research fellow at the National Hospital and University of Iceland in.
  • 1983-1985 Resident in paediatrics and fellow in neonatology at the Children’s Hospital Winnipeg Manitoba.
  • 1980-1982 Resident in paediatrics at the Children’s Hospital and the University of Iceland.
  • 1979-1980 Intern at the St. Josephs Hospital and the City Hospital in Reykjavik, Iceland.
  • 1978 MD, University of Iceland.
  • 2007-2013 Coordinator and director of admissions, SDCC.
  • 2005- Paediatrician and researcher at the SDCC.
  • 1995-2005 Paediatrician and researcher at the State Social Security Institute.
  • 1988-1995 Paediatrician at the SDCC.
  • Paediatric neuro-developmental disorders
  • Outcome of children with extremely low birth weight
  • Health Care Systems
Ingibjörg Georgsdóttir MD, PhD.
Ingibjörg Georgsdóttir MD, PhD.Director of admissions at the SDCC.
Years of experience: 10
Specific expertise: Outcome of children born with extremely low birth weight; Children with neuro- developmental disabilities; Autism spectrum disorders.