Autism Program

Autism Program

Wherever you’re at on your family’s autism support journey,
ChildServe is here to help you move forward.

Raising a Child with Autism?

Let’s Move Forward Together

 

ChildServe’s Autism Program meets families where they’re at and grows with them as their needs change. Our comprehensive program includes over 15 core services that work together to ensure each individual receives expert care customized to their needs and goals. Families may receive any combination of these services depending on their child’s need. 

ChildServe’s Autism Program supports children and young adults who have a diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder, ASD, or who demonstrate common behaviors of ASD.  To learn about a specific service, including age requirements, enrollment details, and more, visit a service page.

 

Autism Services

Applied Behavior Analysis

Autism Day Program

Day Habilitation

Diagnostic Clinic

Feeding Therapy

Group Homes

Life Skills Group

Medical Childcare

Mental Health Therapy

Mobility / Orthotics

Occupational Therapy

Physical Therapy

Respite

Supported Community Living

Social Groups

Speech Therapy

Coordinated Care: Serving Families Better

At ChildServe, we believe families deserve the best care and assistance possible when navigating the healthcare system – especially for those raising a child with special healthcare needs. We believe we can do more, and do better, for families raising children with autism.

One of the key ways we’re changing the experience for families is through our coordinated care approach. Put simply, coordinated care means that experts from across services and disciplines work together closely within one organization. ChildServe’s approach to coordinated care takes many of the challenging or confusing spots in our healthcare system and turns them into strengths.

What Does Coordinated Care Mean for Families?

Find the Support You Need 

Parents seeking care for their child with autism typically have to hunt through lots of providers to find the services they need. They will then repeat this process multiple times for each service. It can be a frustrating, difficult process. ChildServe’s team includes providers from across multiple disciplines, and a large range of service options. When families come to us for one service, we can easily make referrals to connect them to the other experts they need – many of whom are just down the hall.

Streamlined Schedules 

Some children with autism have over 10 appointments each week between applied behavior analysis (ABA); speech, occupational and physical therapy and more. Typically, parents spend tremendous amounts of time driving their child to appointments – sometimes to multiple locations and providers in a day. By offering many services under one roof, ChildServe can streamline each family’s weekly calendar by stacking appointments. In some services, like the Autism Day Program, therapies are built right into the child’s day – no separate pick up/drop off needed.

Redefining Parent Partnerships

At times, the healthcare system can make it complicated for care providers to collaborate. Parents often become responsible for passing information from one provider to another and asking them to review it. At ChildServe, our experts from multiple disciplines act as a team, connecting easily and frequently about children receiving care. The team considers all the services a child is receiving, and all aspects of their health and development, when making decisions about the child’s care plan.

Better Outcomes

When experts collaborate, amazing things can happen. Research shows that children who receive care from a collaborative, inter-discipline team have more success and better outcomes in reaching their goals. For example, a child may receive ABA, occupational therapy, and supported community living services throughout the week. At ChildServe, team members in each of these areas can share what’s working well to engage the child, what progress is being made, brainstorm solutions for various challenges, and keep care and communication consistent across all three services. By providing care as a team, we’re able to help children make more progress and reach more goals than we could ever do individually.

Care that Grows

with You:

 

We believe each child is unique, and their care plan should be too. We also know that a child will have different goals at 4 years old than they will at 14 or 24. When you come to ChildServe, our team will help you find the right combination of services to help your child build skills and reach their goals. As your child grows and meets goals, we will update their care plan to focus on their new priorities so they can continue moving forward. 

Why Choose ChildServe?

Click the blue boxes to learn more about what makes our program unique.

We're CARF Accredited

Our program met rigorous guidelines to receive national CARF Accreditation in 11 service areas including ABA, and we hold a specialty CARF accreditation in autism.

We Use Evidence-based Curriculum
Research shows that children who receive early intervention for autism have improved long-term outcomes in goal areas like independence and meaningful relationships. Individuals in ChildServe’s Autism program participate in a variety of evidenced-based treatments focused on their needs, abilities, and goals. We use programs including Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA), Program for the Education and Enrichment of Relational Skills (PEERS), Strategies for Teaching based on Autism Research (STAR), Project IMPACT (Improving Parents as Communication Teachers), and AutPlay.
We Have an Expert Team
Our team includes BCBAs; RBTs; clinical psychologists; mental health therapists; social workers; speech, occupational and physical therapists and specially trained direct caregivers to provide a holistic approach to autism services. Experts from across disciplines connect easily and frequently about a child’s plan and progress.
We're Leaders in Our Field
Experts from ChildServe‘s Autism team can be found serving on the board for the Autism Society of Iowa, providing trainings to parents and industry peers, and presenting research at local and national conferences. 

 

 

Support for the Whole Family

 We believe partnering with the family is equally as important as the work we do with a child. Here are a few of the ways we support parents and siblings:

We're in Your Corner

Our medical social workers are often the first contact families make during the enrollment process. These team members are passionate about helping families learn about new resources, and they often form long-lasting partnerships with the families they serve.

Finding Balance

For parents raising a child with special healthcare needs, taking time to rest and recharge is crucial. Yet many kids need specialized care that can be hard to come by. Our caring, experienced Respite team members play an important role in helping families find balance.

Frequent Communication

Once families begin services, our team provides frequent support and feedback about the child’s care and progress. We encourage parents to observe therapy sessions whenever possible to learn tips they can apply at home.

Build Your Skills

Project ImPACT is a special training that helps parents learn to teach communication skills to their child.

Parent Education Classes

We offer free classes that can help parents feel confident about navigating the healthcare system as their child grows into an adult.

Sibling Support

Our Behavioral Health team launched Sibshops events in 2022 – unique, fun-filled events designed for siblings of children who have special healthcare needs.

How Do We Talk

About Autism?

Person-First Versus Identity-First Language

Historically, person-first language has been preferred by individuals with special and complex healthcare needs, diagnoses and disabilities. The person-first language movement began in the 1970s out of respect for these individuals, to identify the person first, versus the diagnosis or disability.

At ChildServe, we know the evolution of language continues, and for some, using identity-first language highlights the embrace of an individual’s diagnosis or disability. Therefore, you will see both person-first (individuals with autism) and identity-first (the autistic child, autistics) language used interchangeably on our website and in our digital and printed materials.

ChildServe respects each individual’s choice for how they would like to be identified, whether that be person-first or identify-first language. We are proud to be a part of ongoing discussions with the children and families we serve to find power and support through language.

View Our Outcomes

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

Meet Apollo

Each morning when four-year-old Apollo arrives at ChildServe’s Autism Day Program, he enters his classroom with a smile and says, “Bye, mom!” Small moments like this mean the world to his mom, Amber Herring, a medical social worker at ChildServe. She has seen Apollo overcome many medical difficulties and challenges to get to this point.

Amelia & Aryana

“The resources ChildServe has given me to learn more about the world of autism helped me become a better parent. They helped my children blossom into amazing little humans that have surpassed my expectations and dreams. The ChildServe team has given my children a life they would never have had otherwise.” – Amelia & Aryana’s mom, Kaylee

Ricky's Story

As 20-year-old Ricky prepares for his transition to a group home for more independent living, his parents could not be more proud of his 15-year journey with ChildServe and Ricky’s continued success in life.

Ready to Get Connected?

 

Purple Adult and Child holding a spin wheel icon

Sign Up for Services

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, email us at communications@childserve.org or reach us at the following numbers:

  • Johnston, Iowa – 515-727-8750
  • Ames, Iowa – 515-232-7220
  • Iowa City, Iowa – 319-351-5437

Join Our Team

ChildServe is hiring autism experts like BCBAs, RBTs, and more to join our growing team. See our openings here, or sign up for our Talent Community to sign up for job alerts and receive news and information about ChildServe‘s Autism Program.

About

ChildServe improves the health and well-being of more than 5,600 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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