Occupational Therapy

Improving Life Skills

ChildServe‘s Occupational Therapy program helps children improve their physical, sensory and cognitive skills to function in their homes, schools, and communities. Our Occupational Therapists use special techniques to develop physical coordination, organization and planning skills so children can be successful in their world. Our therapists also help children improve skills for listening, attention, decision-making and memory.

Why choose ChildServe?

Multi-disciplinary Team

ChildServe’s talented, multi-disciplinary team of therapists specializes in pediatric rehab and works together to create plans specific to each child’s need.


We hold CARF accreditationsThis means that the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities recognizes ChildServe as an organization that meets rigorous guidelines for service and quality and conforms to nationally and internationally recognized standards.
in pediatrics, brain injury, and inpatient and outpatient rehabilitation.

Specialized Technology

Our Occupational Therapy program makes use of specialized technology like the Functional Electrical Stimulation (FES) bikeFES stands for Functional Electrical Stimulation. The FES bike, which was made possible by funds from the ChildServe Foundation, stimulates muscles with electric currents to help build them up after a long period of little use.
, the Universal Exercise Unit (UEU)The Universal Exercise Unit (UEU) is a favorite with many kids, who sometimes refer to it as “the Octopus.” The UEU provides a unique and effective physical therapy option in which children are comfortably suspended just off the ground or therapy table. Therapists are able to work specific muscles and coordination skills through this therapy.
, Interactive MetronomeInteractive Metronome is an evidence-based assessment and training tool that helps strengthen the brain’s ability to synchronize thought and movement to a steady metronome beat., and DynavisionDynavision is a leading technology used in the assessment and rehabilitation of concussions. The program helps ChildServe specialists develop individual programs for each child or young adult served. within our state-of-the-art, kid-friendly facilities.


Staff and child working on therapy

Who We Serve

ChildServe’s Occupational Therapy program serves children and young adults (infant through 21 years) who have special healthcare needs or movement difficulties resulting from the following:

Physical injuries

Brain injuries

Developmental delays


Our Approach

Children Icon showing a boy and a girl

We Know Kids

Our entire organization is designed around kids! ChildServe knows that children and teens have needs that are different from adults with similar conditions. Our equipment is designed for children and young adults. Every member of our staff has specialized training to understand how therapy can affect children’s growth and development.

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Pediatric Therapy

ChildServe’s Occupational Therapy program includes restorative exercise, treatment strategies, assistive technology, and play/movement activities to improve fine motor skills and daily living skills, and increase impulse control, focus, and coordination. Our therapists use activities and play to increase function, enhance development, and help children and young adults become more independent.

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Special Programs

ChildServe offers a variety of specialty areas and clinics to help children reach specific goals faster. Our Occupational Therapy specialty programs include the Astronaut Training Program, Animal-Assisted Therapy, Brachial Plexus Injury (BPI) Program, Constraint-Induced Movement Therapy (CIMT), Life Skills, Motor Planning and Coordination, Neuro and Reflex Intensive Program, Sensory Integration and Praxis Testing, SOS Feeding Therapy, Spasticity Management, Therapeutic Listening, Therapeutic Positioning, and Visual Rehabilitation.

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We Care about Families

When a child receives therapy at ChildServe, the family is involved in every step of the process. Our staff help children and families create and achieve goals to improve daily living skills. We help families find specialty programs that fit a child’s specific needs. In addition, training is provided for families to continue and reinforce the care at home.

Hunter’s Story

Hunter has changed a lot in the past 12 weeks. He’s sleeping through the night, he’s much less afraid of trying new foods and he is able to focus on tasks and conversations without getting too overwhelmed or distracted. But Angie, Hunter’s mom, is most excited about what she says is the biggest change in her son: he’s happier.

Read More

Frequently Asked Questions

Who is eligible to receive services?

ChildServe’s Occupational Therapy program serves children and young adults (infant-21 years) who have special healthcare needs or movement difficulties resulting from physical or brain injuries, developmental delays, or other illness. Children must also fit the following qualifications:

  • Have skills below age-level or are at risk of delay in mobility, communication, fine motor, self-help, or feeding
  • Medically stable
  • No actively contagious condition
  • Able to tolerate exposure to other people and children and transport to/from ChildServe
  • Appropriate endurance up through prescribed therapy sessions
How are referrals made?

To make a referral or request more information, call in to talk with a Medical Social Worker who will help identify a funding source and send out an application for services.

  • Johnston and Ames: 515-727-1561 or 515-727-1533
  • Iowa City and North Liberty: 319-351-5437
Where are ChildServe’s Occupational Therapy services offered?

ChildServe’s facilities and equipment are designed specifically for children. Therapy services take place year-round at the following locations:

  • ChildServe – Ames
  • ChildServe – Johnston
  • ChildServe – Iowa City
  • ChildServe – North Liberty

We also offer on-site occupational therapy for children enrolled in childcare at the ChildServe Childcare Center in Johnston or children receiving Day Health services at our ChildServe – Des Moines location.

How are services authorized and funded?

Therapy services are funded through Medicaid, private insurance, or private pay. Services are authorized by the individual’s payor source and require a physician’s order. ChildServe will help the family in finding these items. The fees for each specific child and service will be discussed during the intake process.

When are ChildServe’s Occupational Therapy services offered?

Hours of operation for Johnston and Ames:

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

Hours of operation for Iowa City and North Liberty:

  • Monday-Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
  • Extended hours may be available by appointment only.
What specialized equipment or technology does ChildServe use?

Our special equipment and technology include the following items:

  • Interactive Metronome
  • Dynavision
  • FES Bike
  • Universal Exercise Unit (UEU)

View our Annual 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.

Contact Us!

ChildServe – Ames

1915 Philadelphia Street, Ames, IA 50010

ChildServe – Johnston

5406 Merle Hay Road, Johnston, IA 50131

ChildServe – Iowa City

1552 Mall Drive, Iowa City, IA 52240

ChildServe – North Liberty

370 West Cherry Street, North Liberty, IA 52317

If you would like to make a referral, or if you have additional questions, please use the contact form below.

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ChildServe Center - Johnston

ChildServe Center - Ames

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ChildServe improves the health and well-being of over 3,600 children each year through specialized clinical, home, and community-based programs and services. We serve children with developmental delays, disabilities, acquired injuries, and other special healthcare needs.
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