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Autism Center of The Studer Family Children's Hospital at Sacred Heart

  • Specialty Care
Mon-Fri 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Autism Center Services
The Autism Center of the Studer Family Children's Hospital at Ascension Sacred Heart provides services for children with autism.

Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) services

  • Early Start Denver Model
  • Ages 18 months to 5 years

The Early Start Denver Model is a research-based program for children who have been diagnosed with autism or who show characteristics of autism. In this model, you and your child meet with a board-certified behavior analyst or registered behavior technician one to two times per week for a duration of three to six months. During a coaching session, you work directly with your child while your therapist provides coaching and support. You work together to develop a plan for implementing strategies throughout the child's day in a variety of activities. 

COMPASS Family Navigation

  • Ages 5 years to 12 years

COMPASS is an ABA-based family training program designed to help parents support their child. The program consists of two, 1.5- to 2-hour sessions per week over a period of 6 months.

Brief Behavioral Interventions

  • Ages 5 years to 12 years

Brief Behavioral Interventions is our step-up program for children who qualify for the COMPASS program, but may need more frequent sessions to achieve their goals. The program consists of three, 1.5 to 2 hour sessions per week over 6 months. After completing the program, children may continue into the COMPASS program if additional services are needed.

Behavior consultations

  • Ages 18 months to 12 years

For children on our wait list, we offer 1 to 2 hour behavior consultation services with a board-certified behavior analyst to address one specific behavior goal. The consultations are available in-person or virtual (online) and are not covered by insurance. They are $55 per hour and are due at the time of service.

Speech and feeding therapy

Our pediatric speech-language pathologists (SLPs) are trained to assess, diagnose and treat speech and feeding disorders or delays in children of all ages. We also work with occupational therapists and Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) therapies as needed. Our specialized training includes:

  • Augmentative and Alternative Communications (AAC/voice output devices)
  • Picture Exchange Communication Systems (PECS)
  • Sign language
  • Feeding therapy for food aversions and oral-motor difficulties
  • Home programs and parent education
  • Neurodevelopmental treatment for oral-motor
  • Movement disorders (e.g. Apraxia)
  • Auditory processing therapy
  • Language processing therapy
  • Social skills therapy

Occupational therapy

Pediatric occupational therapists (OTs) help children with everyday life skills and tasks. Our occupational therapists evaluate and provide treatment to help your child become independent in their daily "routines." Based on your child’s age, this may include:

  • Fine-motor milestones
  • Self-regulation
  • Self-care, including dressing, personal hygiene and eating 
  • Coordination
  • Motor planning
  • Visual motor milestones
  • Social participation
  • Sleep
  • Sensory integration

Social skills therapy

Our social skills therapy program offers individualized therapy plans for children of various ages. The treatment plans are created based on your child's needs. The children in social groups meet weekly to practice skills such as problem-solving during disagreements, conversation skills, positive peer interactions, emotional regulation, reading and using non-verbal language appropriately, and cooperative play. We use games and therapeutic activities that help reinforce appropriate social skills. Certain social groups meet monthly at locations in the community in order to practice social skills in other environments, such as bowling, restaurants and mini-golf.

Community integrative therapy program (CIT)

The CIT program is a community-based program for children and young adults with autism or who may have other physical or cognitive challenges. The CIT program gives children opportunities to learn life  and relationship skills in a variety of community-based settings.