ChildServe‘s Autism Program
Grows with Families
ChildServe‘s Autism Program makes a transforming impact for kids of all ages – from 5-year-old Jenna to 20-year-old Landen.
“ChildServe‘s Autism Program is one-of-a-kind,” said Leslie Rogers, ChildServe Director of Autism. “Our team strives to be innovative, fun, collaborative and accepting of each child that comes through our doors. The vast array of services we offer incorporates each child’s unique roadmap to lead a happy and healthy life.”
Welcome to Jenna’s Show
Here to perform for you today… the jubilant Miss Jenna! If you were to meet Jenna in person, you would probably be greeted with creative dance moves and serenaded with a popular Disney song. This outgoing and theatrical little girl was diagnosed with autism at the age of two and since then has discovered her true self.
“When Jenna was diagnosed with autism, I really had to put myself in her shoes to learn how she thinks and how I could best support her,” said Janielle, Jenna’s mom. “After starting ChildServe‘s Autism Day program in July 2022, she is a lot happier.”
As a nurse at MercyOne, Janielle has found it extremely beneficial for Jenna to attend the Autism Day Program at ChildServe‘s Developmental Center, where she can receive speech and occupational therapy on-site during the day as part of her care plan.
”Jenna is much more confident in herself since starting services at ChildServe. She almost seemed lost before and like she didn’t know how to figure herself out,” said Janielle. “It has been incredible to watch her become who she is today over the past year, almost like something has clicked for her.”
Jenna has made incredible progress toward her goals allowing her to sit with her family during meals and attend dance lessons – all milestones Janielle dreamed about for her.
”Jenna’s team at ChildServe just get her and have connected with her so well. Our family would be lost without them,” said Janielle.
Like Jenna, Landen is always on the lookout for new adventures. From volunteering at the Animal Rescue League to taking long hikes with his family, 20-year-old Landen is always on the move!
As a child, Landen was diagnosed with autism at the University of Iowa Stead Family Children’s Hospital, and his family knew right away the journey ahead would not be what they imagined. Landen’s parents, Becky and Jeffrey, quickly discovered a village of support at ChildServe that they knew would make for a long-lasting partnership…17 years and counting, to be exact!
“ChildServe grows with your family,” said Jeffrey. “There is no such thing as one-size-fits-all here. For parents, it’s a marathon, not a sprint, and ChildServe is there for you every step of the way.”
As Landen transitions to adulthood, he has found a community and continued support through ChildServe‘s Respite, Day Habilitation and Supportive Community Living programs. Landen has gained communication, independence and social skills, all while building relationships in a variety of one-on-one and group settings.
“ChildServe is always looking for the greatest benefit for your child. They specialize in forward progression and development when it comes to looking down the road,” said Jeffrey. “Landen is so smart, loving and nice. Our hope is for him to one day live independently. His ChildServe Case Manager Jamie Phillips has been a vital piece in getting him to where he is today.”
“I started working with Landen’s family when he was in preschool and have watched him grow into the clever young adult he is today,” said Jamie. “He has significantly improved his functional daily living skills and is extremely fluent in using his communication device.”
Whether kids are discovering themselves like Jenna or building skills for independence like Landen, ChildServe‘s Autism Program is proud to partner with families by offering an array of customizable services unique to their journey.
ChildServe Receives Telligen Community Initiative Grant to Enhance Behavioral Health Workforce
We are grateful for champion community partners like Telligen Community Initiative! ChildServe has been awarded a Telligen grant of $50,000 that will enhance the training provided to team members in ChildServe‘s Behavioral Health Program.
As the need for behavioral health support for children has grown in the state of Iowa, ChildServe is taking action to implement opportunities to build the needed workforce behind these life-changing services. Telligen’s grant will allow us to create a career path for registered behavior technicians, starting with a training program for Board Certified Behavior Analysts.
Growing a comprehensive and collaborative behavioral health workforce will allow us to make a difference in the lives of even more families across Iowa. Thank you, Telligen, for your partnership and for helping us provide exceptional care to kids with special healthcare needs and their families!
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.