Autism Program

Autism Program for Kids in Iowa

Expert Support for Children with Autism

ChildServe’s Autism Program for kids in Iowa offers a comprehensive range of services for individuals who display characteristics of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Our pediatric specialists evaluate, diagnose, and treat children and young adults.

We help families find and understand resources related to their child’s needs. Behavioral support techniques for children with ASD are interwoven throughout our program. We provide referrals and recommendations about behavior support plans, communication techniques, and environmental supports.

What Makes Us Different?

Why Choose ChildServe?

Coordinated Care Approach

ChildServe’s approach to coordinated care takes many of the challenging or confusing spots in our healthcare system and turns them into strengths. Learn more.

Care that Grows With You

Our team will help you find the right combination of services to help your child build skills and reach their goals.

Advanced Training
ChildServe specialists have advanced training regarding ASD. They complete special competencies to ensure the best care possible for each child we serve.

Child-led Instruction

Our autism program for kids in Iowa offers a fun, family-focused environment with services designed around each child’s unique needs. We teach children new skills by tapping into their favorite activities and interests to make learning fun.

Multi-disciplinary Team
Our multi-disciplinary team provides a continuum of care to meet the needs of families and children.

Standardized Testing

We use standardized testing tools from psychological, occupational and speech disciplines to evaluate many levels of a child’s functioning.

Who We Serve

ChildServe’s Autism Program for kids in Iowa supports children and young adults who have a diagnosis of ASD, or who demonstrate common behaviors of ASD. See our full list of autism services here.

Autism Day Program

Our Autism Day Program is the only one of its kind in Iowa. We offer specialized weekday care for children with ASD (ages two through six years old). Children receive positive behavioral support from staff along with occupational, speech, and physical therapy on-site during the day to promote overall health and development.

Children in the Autism Day Program participate in evidenced-based treatments focused on their needs, abilities, and goals. We use the STAR curriculum (Strategies for Teaching based on Autism Research), which is designed for children with ASD. The research-supported components of STAR align with therapy goals identified on each child’s plan and include systematic skill-building lessons and progress tracking. Research shows that children who receive early intervention for ASD have improved long-term outcomes in goal areas like independence and meaningful relationships.

The Autism Day Program is offered at ChildServe in Ames, Cedar Rapids, Iowa City and Johnston.

Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA)

ABA is a science that seeks to understand how learning occurs. ChildServe ABA identifies the best approach to teach children new skills like communicating, engaging with others, learning independently, and other skills that help them be successful at home, school or in the community. Licensed behavior analysts and registered behavior technicians work with children and families to help them achieve their goals.

ChildServe provides ABA in a fun-filled, empathetic environment. Through our child-led approach, each child’s unique interests, likes and dislikes help us create a customized plan to make learning fun. ABA has a strong emphasis on parent training and family involvement. ABA is provided in 1:1 or group settings and can occur four to 30 hours per week.

Diagnostic Clinic

The Diagnostic Clinic at ChildServe provides evaluations and diagnoses for ASD. Our pediatric psychologists work alongside occupational and speech therapists to provide families with education, referrals, and recommendations regarding their child. The specialists at ChildServe use the assessments to create individualized comprehensive reports that help children thrive in school, home, and life. Our team then recommends treatment plans for a variety of mental health or cognitive concerns.

Life Skills Programming

ChildServe’s Autism Program in Iowa helps teens and young adults with ASD (ages 14-21 years old) make the transition to adulthood by building independence. Through supported, interactive activities, young adults learn daily living skills, employment skills, and job acquisition skills through group or individual therapy sessions. We teach functional routines and expressive/receptive language skills. Our specialists partner with parents to develop individualized plans and goals for each young adult.

Medical Nutrition Therapy

Children and young adults with ASD may struggle with eating a healthy diet due to sensory difficulties. Our Feeding and Swallowing Clinic uses the SOS Approach to Feeding to assess and treat children with feeding difficulties. Our therapists focus on helping children feel safe exploring and learning about foods with different textures, tastes, smells, and consistencies. We also provide consultations on specialty diet options.

Outpatient Therapy

Providing physical, occupational, and speech therapy to children with ASD is different than providing the same therapies to children who are not on the autism spectrum. ChildServe therapists have advanced autism training, and our programs and facilities are well-suited for treating children with ASD. Our special sensory gyms make it easier for children with ASD to focus and thrive at therapy in a controlled environment.

Social Group Programming

When developing communication skills, practice is key to success. ChildServe offers children a safe space to build skills in social groups led by occupational therapists and speech-language pathologists. Children of all ages benefit from our 12-week group sessions made to increase communication skills and confidence. A typical group size includes three to six children.

Research Partners

ChildServe’s Autism Program joins in local and regional ASD research projects to help researchers gain a better understanding of the genetic causes of autism and identify the most effective ways to intervene. This includes finding the best treatment techniques, targets, and delivery models. We partner with research groups to provide data. In turn, the research groups report to the government about the need for more access to qualified services in our state and across the nation.

Our Team of Specialists

ChildServe’s Autism Program team includes the following positions:
Licensed Psychologist
Licensed Mental Health Professional

Licensed Board Certified Behavior Analyst

Registered Behavior Technician

Speech Therapist
Occupational Therapist

Physical Therapist

Social Worker

View Our Annual Outcomes

ChildServe regularly gathers child and family satisfaction feedback, quality reports, and census data to monitor our services and continuously work to improve the care and services we provide.

ChildServe’s Autism Service Grows with Families

With support from generous partners like Telligen Community Initiative, ChildServe’s Autism Program makes a transforming impact for kids of all ages – from 5-year-old Jenna to 20-year-old Landen.

Helping Emery Blossom

To help Emery connect with the world around her and build skills to live a great life, her family enrolled her in ChildServe’s Autism Day Program. After just six months, Emery’s communication began to blossom.

Hobie’s Story

Since beginning ChildServe’s Autism program, Hobie has made big strides in his communication skills, his ability to focus without frustration and his willingness to eat different foods – all areas that were major hurdles for him just a few years ago.

Apollo’s Story

ChildServe’s growing Autism Program helps children like Apollo build skills for a great life!

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I get started?

Referrals can be made by the child’s parent/guardian, physicians, case managers, therapists, or other members of the child’s care team. To make a referral or request more information about one of our programs, call us or email us using the contact info below.

Where are the services provided?

ChildServe’s Autism Program for Kids in Iowa offers services in the following locations:

  • ABA: Ames, Cedar Rapids, Johnston and Iowa City
  • Autism Day Program: Johnston, Ames, Cedar Rapids and Iowa City
  • Diagnostic Clinic: Johnston
  • Life Skills: Johnston, Ames and Iowa City
  • Medical Nutrition Therapy: Johnston
  • Outpatient Therapy: Johnston, Ames, Cedar Rapids and Iowa City
  • Project ImPACT: Iowa City and Johnston
  • Social Groups: Johnston, Ames and Iowa City
    • PEERS Social Group: Johnston
When are services provided?

The Autism Day Program is available Monday – Thursday 7:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. and Friday 7:30 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Other Autism services, appointments and programming will be scheduled during the following time frames:


  • Monday-Thursday from 7:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
  • Fridays from 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Iowa City:

Monday-Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

Contact Us!

ChildServe - Johnston

5406 Merle Hay Road,
Johnston, IA 50131

ChildServe Ames

1915 Philadelphia Street,
Ames, IA 50010

ChildServe - Iowa City

2350 Oakdale Blvd.,
Coralville, IA 52241

ChildServe - Cedar Rapids

1661 Boyson Square Dr., Suite 100,
Hiawatha, IA 52233

If you would like to make a referral, or if you have questions for our team, please email Be sure to include which location you are interested in so we can connect you with the right team member.

ChildServe - Johnston

ChildServe - Ames

ChildServe - Iowa City

ChildServe - Cedar Rapids


ChildServe improves the health and well-being of nearly 5,800 children each year through specialized clinical, home, and community-based programs and services. We serve children with developmental delays, disabilities, injuries, and other special healthcare needs.

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