Therapy & Rehabilitation

ChildServe Therapy and Rehabilitation Photos

ChildServe provides a wide variety of therapy services to children on a one-to-one basis at the ChildServe Centers in Johnston and Ames, the ChildServe Woodland Center in Des Moines, as well as in children's homes and the community.

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Pediatric Focus

ChildServe knows children and teens have needs that are different from those of adults with similar conditions. ChildServe is the only facility in Iowa that serves only children. All of our equipment is designed specifically for children, and every member of our staff has specialized training to understand how therapy can affect children’s growth and development. Our innovative approaches and comfortable atmosphere helps children have so much fun; they don’t even realize they are doing the hard work of therapy!

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Family-Centered Care

Whether a child is receiving therapy on an outpatient basis or is staying with us in our Transitional Care or Continuing Care units, families are involved in every step of the therapy process. ChildServe staff collaborate with children and families to develop and acheive relevant goals. In addition, training is provided for families to be able to continue the care in the home environment.

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Multi-Disciplinary Care Teams

ChildServe offers a continuum of services for children with rehabilitation and developmental therapy needs.  Depending on the needs of each individual child, a child’s care team may include the expertise and specialized care of a variety of professionals, listed below. We work as a team with primary-care physicians, community providers, and other specialists to create personalized care plans that meet the unique needs of each child. We also develop benchmarks to evaluate the child’s progress.

  • Adaptive Equipment Technicians
  • Aquatics Coordinator
  • Child Life Specialists
  • Medical Social Workers
  • Occupational Therapists
  • Physical Therapists
  • Recreational Therapists
  • Speech-Language Pathologists

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Areas of Care

Our Rehabilitation and Developmental Therapy programs treat children with a wide range of diagnoses including, but not limited to:

  • Autism
  • Brain injuries (traumatic and acquired)
  • Cerebral palsy
  • Delayed development
  • Feeding disorders
  • Juvenile arthritis
  • Low muscle tone
  • Muscular dystrophy and other neuromuscular conditions
  • Musculoskeletal conditions
  • Orthopaedic conditions
  • Neurological conditions
  • Sensory processing disorders
  • Spina bifida
  • Spinal cord injuries

Our Special Services

Animal-Assisted Therapy

Animal-assisted therapy acts as a catalyst to motivate patients to help themselves. ChildServe offers the Abilities Through Agility(TM) program in cooperation with Paws & Effect, a volunteer organization of specially trained pet lovers and their pets.


The aquatic facilities at ChildServe offer a safe, fun environment to foster each child’s participation in functional activities. Our warm (94 F), 1,680 square-foot therapeutic pool with zero entry supports a wide variety of OT/PT activities. Our staff can even support aquatic therapy for children with artificial airways and/or ventilation.

Occupational Therapy

Our occupational therapists provide children and young adults with fun, positive and meaningful activities to help improve cognitive, motor, and physical function. We encourage family members to be active participants in the development of goals and therapeutic activities in order to address each child’s individual needs.

Physical Therapy

The physical therapy team at ChildServe is staffed by dynamic, caring therapists who are specially trained to work with children, adolescents, and young adults. Physical therapy is the use of facilitation, therapeutic exercise, treatment strategies, assistive technology, and play/movement activities to treat and improve motor and physical dysfunction.

Speech-Language Pathology

Our speech/language pathologists evaluate and treat infants through adolescents with communication and/or functional feeding impairments.

Therapy Specialty Clinics

ChildServe offers several specialty clinics for children addressing a variety of issues, including Augmentative Communication, Feeding and Swallowing, and Cochlear Implants. A child does not need to receive other services through ChildServe to take advantage of these clinics.


Frequently Asked Questions

Who is eligible to participate in therapy services?

Therapy services are offered through ChildServe for individuals from birth to 21 years old. The individual qualifies for services by having skills that are below age level in mobility, communication, fine motor, self-help, or feeding.

How are referrals made?

Referrals can be made by a number of interested parties, including physicians, school/AEA, members of the individual's care team, or parents/guardians. Referrals can be made to the Outpatient Therapy Medical Social Workers who will assist in identifying a funding source and sending out an application for services.

How are services authorized and funded?

Therapy services are funded through Medicaid, private insurance, or private pay. The individual/family would be responsible for any applicable co-pays, co-insurance, and deductibles according to their insurance plan. Services are authorized by the individual's payor source and require a physician's order, which ChildServe will assist the family in obtaining.

What services are provided?

ChildServe provides the following core Outpatient Therapy services:
  • Physical Therapy
  • Occupational Therapy
  • Speech Therapy

Within these core services, there are a number of specialty services:
  • Feeding
  • Seating and Positioning
  • Aural Rehab (Cochlear Implant)
  • Splinting and Casting
  • Sensory Integration
  • Aquatics
  • Animal-Assisted Therapy
  • Augmentative Communication
  • Vision Training

Where are services provided?

Therapy services take place year-round in the following locations:

  • ChildServe Center in Johnston
  • Variety ChildServe Center in Ames
  • ChildServe Childcare Center - Johnston
  • ChildServe Woodland Center (Day Health services only)
  • ChildServe Center in Iowa City
  • ChildServe Center in North Liberty

When are services provided?

Therapy services are provided Monday through Thursday from 7:30 am to 6:00 pm and Fridays from 7:30 am to 4:30 pm. ChildServe Outpatient Therapy is closed for primary holidays.

How often can I utilize therapy services?

After the intake process has been completed and funding secured, an individualized evaluation is completed by qualified therapists. Following the evaluation, the team develops a care plan which indicates the recommended frequency and duration of therapy services. Implementation of the care plan can be influenced by funding, progress toward goals, and scheduling. The care plan is reviewed and revised at least quarterly.

Are there any other requirements for enrollment?

ChildServe Therapy primarily enrolls individuals who live in the Central Iowa area. However, ChildServe will enroll any child whose family is able to travel to the outpatient therapy location to meet the frequency recommended in the care plan.

I'm interested in enrolling. What happens next?

Please contact one of ChildServe's Outpatient Therapy Medical Social Workers. Your social worker will assist you through the intake process and help you determine eligibility and funding.

How are therapy services documented?

The individual's initial evaluation is documented and sent to the family and ordering physician. Annually, an overall review of the individual's care plan is completed by the care team. The care plan is documented and updated at least quarterly. Therapists complete documentation for every therapy session provided. The family/individual can request copies of any documentation be provided to anyone of their choice.

Once my child starts services, how do I stay enrolled?

Progress toward goals is assessed during the quarterly review of the individual's care plan. As long as consistent progress toward goals occurs and a need still exists, therapy services can continue. Funding may limit enrollment. Services may also be placed on hold if regular attendance at scheduled therapy sessions is not maintained.

What if my child and/or family has needs beyond Outpatient Therapy Services?

If you need additional resources, you may contact your child's therapist or discuss your needs with the Medical Social Worker, who will work with you and recommend appropriate referrals.


Jenelle Clabaugh


Medical Social Worker

Phone Icon Jenelle Clabaugh 515-727-1561 Medical Social Worker   
515 727-1561
Pam Payeur


Medical Social Worker

Phone Icon Pam Payeur 515 727-1533 Medical Social Worker   
515 727-1533