Autism Program

ChildServe Autism Services

ChildServe’s Autism program provides a comprehensive range of services for children with ASD and their families. Our evidence-based programming provides children, teens and young adults with the tools, knowledge and skills to make friends, go to school with their peers, and actively participate in their community and family life.

3 person Icon for Care Teams

Our Team

Autism team members have advanced training in topics and treatments related to ASD, and complete special competencies in this area. They work together to evaluate and diagnose each child, then help families navigate services and locate resources and funding options. ChildServe’s multidisciplinary team includes:

  • Psychologists
  • Medical social workers
  • Specially trained care providers
  • Physical, occupational and speech therapists


Diagnostic Clinic

ChildServe offers one of Iowa’s only autism diagnostic clinics. Child psychologists work alongside occupational and speech therapists to diagnose Autism Spectrum Disorders and provide families with the education, referrals, and recommendations needed to move forward.

Outpatient Therapy

ChildServe therapists have advanced autism training and our facilities and equipment are well-suited for treating children with ASD.

  • Physical, Occupational, and Speech therapy
  • CARF-certified

Autism Day Health

ChildServe’s unique Autism Day Health program is the only one of its kind in Iowa. Our evidence-based program incorporates intensive therapy, nursing, early intervention and skill development into weekday care for children ages 2-6.

Autism Day Health fast facts:
  • 3:1 child to staff ratio
  • Evidence based, research validated STAR curriculum
    • Meets the individual needs of children at various developmental levels
    • Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA) based
  • Must be Medicaid-eligible to qualify

Autism Intensives

Intensive speech and occupational therapy sessions are offered for children ages 2-6. Autism intensives occur three times a week and last 12 weeks at a time.

  • Evidence-based, research validated STAR curriculum
    • Meets the individual needs of children at various developmental levels
    • Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA) based
  • No Medicaid eligibility requirement

Behavioral Support

Behavioral support techniques for children with ASD are interwoven throughout our program. We also provide specialty referrals and input on behavior support plans, communication techniques, and environmental supports.

Social Group Programming

Children of all ages benefit from our 12-week groups designed to increase communication skills and confidence. Typical group size is 3-6 children. Most groups are led by an occupational therapist and speech-language pathologist (SLP).

  • Social Thinking®: For children with average or above average intellectual skills who have trouble thinking about their own social language.
  • Social Success: For adolescents and teens with social skill deficits and mental health needs (i.e. anxiety, depression) associated with a developmental disability. Led by a Mental Health Counselor and SLP.
  • Dog Agility: For children with social language, coordination, and other sensory concerns.

Life Skills Program

Teens and young adults ages 14-21 learn daily living skills, employment skills, and job acquisition skills.

  • Evidence-based LINKS Curriculum teaches functional routines and expressive/receptive language skills.
  • Community and transition resources provided to families
  • Individual and group sessions available

Supported Community Living (SCL)

Specially-trained SCL caregivers meet 1:1 with children to work on building skills for greater independence.

Medical Nutrition Therapy

Our Feeding and Swallowing Clinic uses the SOS Approach to Feeding to assess and treat children with feeding difficulties. We also provide consultations on specialty diet options.

Family Education and Support

Navigating services for a child with ASD can be difficult, but we’re here to help. ChildServe partners with families to find the right programming, resources, and funding options that children need to thrive.

  • Respite care for a break from the day-to-day demands of caring for a child with autism
  • Medical Social Workers available for guidance, family advocacy, and referral support
  • Family Resource Library
  • Community and clinical trainings
  • Parent Coaching
    • Interwoven throughout our Autism Program
    • Individual and group settings
    • Project ImPACT (Improving Parents as Communication Teachers) is an evidence-based program that teaches parents to promote their child’s social-communication skills during daily routines and activities.

Frequently Asked Questions

Will ChildServe do screenings if a family isn’t sure where to start?

Yes. We want to identify risks as soon as possible so that early identification and referral for interventions can be made.

Is this a program only for children who have not yet been diagnosed?

No. The services we already have in place are designed for newly diagnosed children and those living with autism.

Is ABA (applied behavior analysis) therapy offered at ChildServe?

ABA therapy is not yet available at ChildServe, but will be explored as a potential addition for future services.

Applied behavioral analysis (ABA) identifies behaviors that need to be reduced and others that need to be built up. A child’s therapist breaks down new skills into small, incremental steps, so that over time the child can build more complex skills. The approach involves practicing skills repeatedly and creating positive reinforcements for the child. ABA is highly individualized based on a child’s interests, abilities and behavior.

What diagnoses are served in this program?

ChildServe has something for every child on the spectrum: autism, Asperger’s, and PDD-NOS.

How can my child receive these services?

Call ChildServe at 515.727.8750 to make a referral.


Ali Janning


Medical Social Worker

Phone Icon Ali Janning 515-727-0272 Medical Social Worker