Bringing Autism Screening Home

A Message From One of Our Grateful Recipients – Mental Health Clinic Services

Recently the foundation accepted the grant application from the Mental Health Clinic Services and funded the purchase of a piece of equipment to aid in the diagnosis of autism. The ADOS, or Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule, allows providers to accurately assess and diagnose autism spectrum disorders across age, developmental level, and language skills.

With the purchase of these materials, the Mental Health Clinic is working with a team including pediatricians, child psychiatry, child psychology, OT and speech to develop a specialized autism service line.

As Tara Nelson, Mental Health Clinic Services Manager stated:

“We were very excited when we learned we received grant funding. We had been discussing purchasing the testing materials for some time and working on the development of a specialized service line. Since this would have required a lot of financial resources and time, we were struggling to make a feasible plan. The grant application appeared at the right time as we were really getting into discussions about developing specialized autism services at Hutchinson Health.

The purchase of these materials and the development of this service line will be a huge benefit to the community. Schools and social service agencies have been asking for additional services for many years. We currently have to refer children to the metro when further screening needs to be completed for autism. This creates transportation and other hardship issues for local families. Since we already have most of the key components that these children need, adding this piece to the mix helps us provide the care and screening within our own setting.”

Tara went on to say:

“Being able to provide this service helps us to serve Hutchinson Health’s mission of advancing health with our community. It is important for people to be able to seek care where it is convenient, comfortable, and where they feel that quality care will be provided. We are able to provide all of those things for our patients.”

If you are interested in learning how to apply for a Foundation grant, email or call Rachael Gemuenden at or 320.484.4438