Children's Behavioral Health

LifeScape provides highly specialized therapy and psychology services for children. Our team of experts provides a range of evaluation and treatment services for a variety of conditions and disabilities. All of our Children’s Behavioral Health Services are offered at our Autism and Child Development Center in Sioux Falls.

Applied Behavioral Analysis

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.

Early Start Denver Model (ESDM)

Children age 1-5 with autism or autism-like symptoms 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.

LifeScape speech-language pathologist Megan Wiessner, MA, CCC-SLP, is the first and only clinician to be certified in Early Start Denver Model and leads the LifeScape therapy team in delivering these services.

Free Autism Screenings

We provide free autism screenings for children four and under at LifeScape. The clinicians who administer screenings specialize in autism treatment. No referral is needed—simply contact us at your convenience to set up your appointment. The screening takes about one hour to complete. We will gladly answer any questions you have about your child’s development and behavior and let you know if we recommend a full evaluation.

Comprehensive Autism Evaluations

Our multidisciplinary team provides comprehensive autism evaluations to determine if a child has an autism spectrum disorder.

Evaluation Team

The Autism Evaluation Team includes a psychologist, speech-language pathologist, and occupational therapist. Together, they assess all aspects of your child’s needs, with clinical consultation by pediatric psychiatrist, David Ermer, M.D., LifeScape's Medical Director of Behavior Services.

Referrals & Funding

Autism evaluations require a referral from the child’s physician or school. Funding sources are insurance or Medicaid (if the referral is made by a physician) or school districts (if the child’s school makes the referral). LifeScape will take care of billing for the evaluation.

What to Expect

The evaluation takes about four hours. Afterward, we will give you an educational and/or medical diagnosis depending on your referral/payer source. We’ll walk you through what the results mean for you and your family, and answer any questions you may have.

No other organization in the region can match LifeScape’s level of staff expertise in treating children with autism.

Clinical Psychology

LifeScape’s doctorate-level clinical psychologists use cognitive behavior therapy to help children and adults with a variety of mental health diagnoses and other challenges. Through one-on-one or family therapy, they focus on the unique needs of the person or situation. Their goal is to provide tools and supports to promote individual and/or family growth and healthy relationships.

Our psychologists provide evaluations and testing in several areas, including:

  • Autism Evaluations (as part of the LifeScape Autism Diagnostic Team)
  • Psychological Assessments
  • IQ/Cognitive Achievement, due to academic difficulties
  • ADHD Diagnostic testing

Treatment Specializations include (but are not limited to):

  • Depression/mood disorders
  • Anxiety
  • Adjustment problems
  • Autism spectrum disorders
  • ADHD
  • Partner/relational problems
  • Parenting support and positive parenting
  • Phase-of-life problems
  • Trauma
  • Grief and coping
  • Behavioral interventions with children
  • Behavioral feeding problems
  • Stress management
  • Therapy for families of children with disabilities

Interested in Learning More?

Learn more about how we can help your child by calling us at 605-444-9700 in Sioux Falls or 605-791-7400 in Rapid City. Or, fill out a short form with your information and we’ll be in touch with you shortly.

Contact Us