Mercy Medical Center Dubuque

Evaluation and Diagnosis

A diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder is based on observed behavior, language and psychological testing.
The evaluation process takes approximately 3 hours and includes the expertise of a clinically licensed psychologist,
licensed social worker and speech pathologist. An occupational therapist, physical therapist or other professionals are sometimes included based on need.

  • The patient is evaluated through a variety of tools including Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule (ADOS)
    and treatment goals are established.
  • Ongoing assessments are provided in an interdisciplinary/team approach.
  • Patients and family members are included in establishing goals and in communication of progress throughout treatment.
  • The team will assist in appropriate referrals and ensure continuity of care.

Individuals already diagnosed under an Autism Spectrum Disorder may access all services, including ongoing assessment and treatment as necessary. Individual consultations and treatment may be scheduled with the Autism Center staff.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I make an appointment or proceed through the referral process?

You can call the Autism Center at 563-589-9035 and request an evaluation.
Your child's physician may also send a referral request.

What paperwork do I need to send before the evaluation?

Mercy Service Club Autism Center staff will send you an intake packet or your physician may give it to you in his or her office when a referral is made.

  • This information needs to be completed and returned to the Autism Center.
  • When the paper work is received, Mercy staff will contact you to set up the evaluation appointment and conference times.

What paperwork do I need to bring to the evaluation?

Bring any previous testing results that have been completed on your child as well as any current IFSP/IEP documents that your child may already have. Please also bring the child's current insurance card.

What will happen at the evaluation?

  • Mercy's social worker will conduct a pre-evaluation phone call with you
  • You and your child will be greeted by the evaluation team and shown into the assessment area.
  • The psychologist will start the evaluation with the child. You will be asked to stay in the room if needed.
  • Parents or other caregivers may be taken into a conference room for an interview with the social worker and speech therapist.
  • The conference room has a one-way window for observation of the testing.
  • The speech therapist will conduct additional testing and the psychologist may join the interview.
  • The entire evaluation will be video taped for reference and use in establishing a diagnosis.

What visual supports will you have available for me?

Your intake packet will include visual supports to assist your child in coming to the Autism Center.
If you need more or have questions, please contact the Autism Center at 563-589-9035.

Will the evaluation be covered by insurance?

Most insurance plans will cover the evaluation. There is a $100 non-refundable registration fee and approximately $300 in charges not currently covered by public or private insurance. Insurance verification personnel are available to help families determine eligibility. Financial assistance is also available to help families with out-of-pocket expenses.

How do I get to the Mercy Service Club Autism Center?

The Autism Center is located on the third floor of the Professional Arts Plaza at Mercy Medical Center - Dubuque.

Have a question that's not listed above? Email us at or Request a packet of information from the Mercy Service Club Autism Center.</p