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Autism evaluation and treatment

A parent may worry their child is showing signs of having autism. To start an evaluation process for your child, call Mercyhealth Autism Program at 608.756.8226. We will call you to start the assessment process, which starts with a phone screening.

Your child will meet with the evaluating psychologist for a complete evaluation. It may take more than one visit to complete your child's evaluation and make an accurate diagnosis. You can be assured Mercyhealth will provide a thorough and caring examination of your child and help you make any pertinent decisions throughout his or her treatment.


At Mercyhealth, we offer intensive and non-intensive Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) in our clinic, in home, or in the community. The focus is on having fun while learning new skills. Extensive research supports the use of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) for improving socially important behaviors for individuals with ASD. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), the goals of treatment of children with ASD are to:

  1. Minimize core deficits
  2. Maximize functional independence
  3. Eliminate, minimize, or prevent maladaptive behaviors that may interfere with functional skills.

Target goal areas include:

  • Communication skills
  • Cognitive skills
  • Social functioning
  • Emotional functioning
  • Adaptive functioning
  • Maladaptive behaviors
  • And more

Mercyhealth looks for autistic behavior with many tools

  • Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule, Second Edition (ADOS-2), Monteiro Interview Guidelines for Diagnosing the Autism Spectrum, Second Edition (MIGDAS-2), Childhood Autism Rating Scale, Second Edition (CARS-2) and/or the Autism Diagnostic Interview, Revised (ADI-R)
  • Self-report, parent and teacher rating scales that will vary depending on age and other presenting behaviors. Some of the following are routinely included:
    • Social Communication Questionnaire (SCQ)
    • Autism Spectrum Rating Scale (ASRS) or Social Responsiveness Scale, Second Edition (SRS-2)
    • Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function, Second Edition (BRIEF-2)
    • Behavior Assessment System for Children, Third Edition (BASC-3)
    • Sensory Profile, Second Edition
    • Vineland Adaptive Behavior Scales, Third Edition (Vineland-3)
  • Cognitive evaluations such as the Wechsler Intelligence Scales for Children, Fifth Edition (WISC-V) or the Stanford Binet Intelligence Scales, Fifth Edition (SB-5)
  • Additional measures to assess for comorbid concerns such as trauma
  • Review of school documents and collaboration with teachers

Whether or not your child meets or does not meet the criteria for an autism spectrum disorder, the evaluating psychologist will discuss options to consider with you and your family.