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Autism Services

Outpatient Autism Services

LifeScape’s outpatient Autism Services are part of a comprehensive program designed to identify and treat autism spectrum disorders (ASD) in children. Our multidisciplinary approach to care is aimed at providing tools and support to foster individual growth and healthy relationships. Explore the following sections to learn more about each specific service.

Screening & Evaluation

AutismServices Screenings


LifeScape is dedicated to early identification and treatment of autism spectrum disorders (ASD). ASD Screening with Therapeutic Assessment and Recommendations (STAR) clinic provides autism screening within a multidisciplinary occupational therapy evaluation so children 5 and under can get started with therapy services sooner.

AutismServices Evaluation


Our team includes a psychologist, speech-language pathologist, and occupational therapist. They complete a thorough assessment using the most stringent evidence-based tools and a full review of medical and educational records. Medical Director of Behavior services and pediatric psychiatrist, David Ermer, M.D., provides clinical consultation as appropriate.

If you are unsure if your child has autism, here are a few things to look for:

  • Limited eye contact
  • Delayed speech or vocabulary regression
  • Repetitive speech, behaviors, or body movements
  • Sensory sensitivities to sound, textures, movements
  • Not responding to name being called
  • Intense interest in a certain topic or item
  • Limited play with peers

Be sure to speak with your child’s doctor if you have questions, or call us at (605) 444-9700 to set up a screening.

Specialized Therapy

Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA)

Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) uses the principles of learning to teach or improve critical skills needed for independence. LifeScape’s ABA therapy program is an intensive intervention that helps children with autism and other developmental disabilities learn these skills using the principles of ABA. It is designed for children who have a diagnosis or display symptoms of Autism or other developmental disabilities up to age 18.

Each program is tailored to meet the specific needs of each individual, with intervention occurring in our clinic, at home, or in a combination of settings. Parent involvement and training is essential for skill progression and is a central concept in our outpatient behavior program.

Behavior therapy is eligible for insurance covered (including Medicaid) for those 18 and younger with a diagnosis of an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and physician referral. 

  • Assessment of current skills levels
  • Development of an individualized intervention plan
  • Provision of intervention services
  • Monitoring of progress and skill acquisition
  • Each program is designed and supervised by a Masters or
  • Doctoral level Board Certified
  • Behavior Analyst (BCBA or BCBA-D)
  • Intervention is implemented by a combination of trained technicians, therapists, parents, and BCBA or BCBA-D
  • Displays too much or not enough of certain behaviors
  • Lacks the ability to imitate others (an important skill to have in order to develop other life skills)
  • Lacks self-care skills
  • Lacks play skills
  • Displays signs of physical aggression, self-injury, or other problem behavior
  • Intervention is implemented by a combination of trained technicians, therapists, parents, and BCBA or BCBA-D
  • Adaptive living skills (eating, dressing)
  • Expressive language (labeling objects, asking for items)
  • Receptive language (following directions, identifying objects)
  • Play and leisure skills (how to play with toys, expanding interests)
  • Social skills (initiating conversations, responding to questions, engaging in interactive play)
  • Basic academic and pre-academic skills
  • Pre-academic behaviors (sitting in a chair at a desk or table, refraining from grabbing materials)
  • Toilet training
  • Each program is tailored to meet the child’s specific needs
  • Flexible scheduling options
  • One-on-one intervention with a trained therapist
  • Group sessions are available with a focus on individual goals
  • Data collected each session and reviewed frequently to monitor progress
  • Use of the principles of ABA in behavior therapy is supported by a large research base

Early Start Denver Model (ESDM)

Children between the ages of 1-5 with autism or autism-like symptoms can benefit from ESDM. This program combines ABA and developmental methods in an interdisciplinary treatment mode. The team includes professionals from psychology, behavior therapy, speech-language pathology, and occupational therapy.

Therapy goals utilizing the ESDM approach are addressed through play-based activities and address all areas of child development. ESDM is the only comprehensive treatment model with support from a randomized controlled trial that has been shown to be effective for children as young as 18 months of age and is recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Supported Services

Speech-Language Therapy

Communication challenges are a hallmark of autism spectrum disorders (ASD), and early intensive intervention has been shown to be the most effective. Our therapists have specialized training in well-established treatment methods, and can help guide you and your family through the diagnosis process.

Occupational Therapy

Occupational therapy aims at improving independence and quality of life in children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD).

LifeScape Support

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