Integrated Development Services - Distance Mentoring

IDS Logo Encouraging and equipping parents with practical, clinically-proven strategies to face the ordinary & extraordinary challenges of childhood

Integrated Development Services has been serving families affected by autism, developmental disabilities, learning challenges, and childhood mental health challenges since 1999.   Our clients have ranged from toddlers through young adults, and our approach to intervention has always involved active participation by families.  Our flagship service is our intensive autism program, approved and funded by the state of Wisconsin, through which our clinical team has served over 500 children, and has trained more than 1,500 paraprofessional play therapists.

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Please contact us to customize a service plan that will meet your individual needs.

Intake Coordinator: Sam Garlock
Phone: 608.441.0123
Fax: 608.441.0126

Integrated Development Services, Inc.
6506 Schroeder Road
Madison, WI 53711

Our Guiding Philosophy

At IDS, we believe family is the foundation for a child’s development. Family is the ever-present guiding force in a child’s life from first breath through all the growing-up years. Family doesn’t close for the holidays, go on spring break, or call it quits at five o’clock. Family remains a pervasive presence on a day-in, day-out basis, through all the hours of the day, through all the seasons of the year, through all the years of childhood.  The family is in the single best position to have a significant and lasting impact on a child’s development.

We have confidence in parents’ competence.   We listen to parents’ expert knowledge of their child and share our expert knowledge of development.  We help parents discover what the child needs next, then equip them with knowledge, skills, and strategies to meet those needs.  Our goal is to provide practical, affordable, effective guidance that helps parents and children overcome challenges, master milestones, and build joyful relationships for a lifetime.  

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How Distance Mentoring Works

First and foremost, decide if our treatment philosophy and approach feel like a “best fit” for your child and family.  There are many researched, clinically effective programs for helping children with autism and other late-talking children, so there are many good options to choose from.   Any consultative approach will require you, as the family, to be doing most of the work with your child – so be sure that the approach makes sense to you and feels like something you can realistically implement.

Initial Workshop
We begin services with an intensive training workshop so that we can meet your child, learn more about the way you and your child interact, demonstrate interactive strategies, and coach you through successful interactions with your child.   We prefer to conduct workshops face-to-face, in our clinic or in conjunction with a Community Workshop in your area.  However, when this isn’t possible, we can conduct a distance workshop by phone, working from video samples of you and your child.

Regular Case Reviews
Following the workshop, we provide you with regular distance support using our online tools, powered by RelateNow. Our basic plan includes two 1-hour case reviews per month by a therapist-mentor who reviews your progress notes, questions and concerns, and up to 20 minutes of video clips of you interacting with your child.  Your mentor will provide you with feedback and guidance (written or by phone), and will assign new trainings (written and video), update the child’s goals as needed, help you problem-solve, and ensure that you have a clear and realistic plan of care until the next case review.

Online Resource Library
All Distance Mentoring clients have access to our library of training videos and readings, which are assigned by your mentor as you make progress.   In addition, the Resource Library includes an extensive activity database families can use to find fun, therapeutic activities that fit their child’s developmental level, summaries of recent news and research on autism, and message boards that are used by other families as well as our Distance Mentoring team.   Our mentors read and respond to message board questions throughout the week, so that families can get brief advice between case reviews.

Clinic or Home Visits
Some families choose to have periodic face-to-face visits, in addition to the distance supports. 
Please contact us to customize a service plan that will meet your individual needs.
Call: 608.441.0123 and talk to our Intake Coordinator

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Additional Resources

kiddo Logo

Educational Materials
Kiddo Publishing, a division of Integrated Development Services, is a publisher of award winning books and music designed to empower, affirm, and inspire families during the “growing up” years.

Keep it Movin DVD

The new Keep it Movin DVD by the Figureheads.

Dance and sing along with the Figureheads and the Kiddo Crew! Bursting with enthusiasm, motivation and a fresh approach to music and movement, Keep It Movin is a DVD concert experience where everyone will find a place and a voice. Featuring the Figureheads, their award-winning music and fantastic dance moves, Keep It Movin inspires and celebrates children.

Experience the music the Parent’s Choice Foundation calls “age-defying, sparkling” and “one of the most effective CDs that has crossed our path in a long time.” Reserve your copy today or preview the dvd

Play to Talk

Play to Talk: A Practical Guide to Help Your Late-Talking Child Join the Conversation
Our recent book release, is an indispensable resource for Distance Mentoring families.

Play To Talk
Based on 30 years of clinical research, Play To Talk empowers parents with proven strategies and step-by-step instructions to help children of any age learn to talk and develop essential skills for conversational relationships and social interactions.

320-Page Perfect Bind Paperback Book
Publication Date: September 2007
Retail Price: $16.95
(608) 441-0123 ext. 124

Check out this and other publications at

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Agency Training
We provide staff in-service training for local agencies, from child care centers and the YMCA to autism treatment providers, who want to learn more about developmental, relationship-based approaches to autism and other developmental disabilities.   These trainings are targeted toward professionals who have regular, direct contact with special needs children.

Community Workshops
We provide introductory workshops for parent groups and community groups on topics related to early learning, communication & relationship development, and autism.

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Research - Models and Inspirations for IDS Distance Mentoring

The concept behind our consultative mentoring approach is hardly a new idea in the world of developmental delays in general, or in the world of autism in particular.  Throughout North America, a range of treatment programs put families at the helm of children’s intervention plans.  Our program was developed after researching a number of existing, successful approaches, which include programs such as Communicating Partners (Dr. James MacDonald – Ohio), Responsive Teaching (Dr. Gerald Mahoney & Dr. James MacDonald – Ohio), SCERTS (Dr. Barry Prizant – Rhode Island), Relationship Development Intervention (Dr. Steven Gutstein – Texas), The Hanen Center (Toronto), The Geneva Center (Toronto), Son-Rise (Barry Neil Kaufman  – Massachusetts), Project PACE (Dr. Katherine Calouri – Oregon).

The programs have several common threads.   They view parents as competent, capable agents of change.  They arise from an understanding of developmental processes.  They highlight the importance of playful relationships for the development of communication, learning skills, and participation in daily routines.   They incorporate fundamental behavioral principles -- such as task analysis, reinforcement, and shaping – and apply them in naturalistic contexts.  They stress the need for repeated practice of skills, by entering into interactive and communicative routines over and over again throughout the course of normal daily routines.  These common threads are core components of all our Developmental Consultation services, including the Distance Mentoring program.

IDS Approach
Our clinical approach is most closely aligned with the responsive, consultative model researched by Dr. Gerald Mahoney (Mahoney & Perales, 2005).   We incorporate the responsive approach of the Responsive Teaching curriculum (Mahoney & MacDonald, 2007) with the accessible, jargon-free language and understandable stages of the Communicating Partners approach (MacDonald & Stoika, 2007; MacDonald, 2004).   Our work also has much in common with Greenspan’s “floor time” approach (Greenspan & Wieder, 1998), and is very much informed by the field of sensory integration (Ayers, 1979).

Recent Research on Parent Training Models:

Mahoney, G. & Perales, F. (2005). Relationship-focused early intervention with children with pervasive developmental disorders and other disabilities: A comparative study.  Journal of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics, 26, 77-85.

Aldred, C., Green, J., & Adams, C. (2004).  A new social communication intervention for children with autism: pilot randomized controlled treatment study suggesting effectiveness.  Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 45, 1420-1430.

Baker, Kashinath, S., Woods, J., & Goldstein, H. (2006).  Enhancing generalized teaching strategy use in daily routines by parents of children with autism.  Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, 49, 466-485.

McConachie, H., Randle, V., Hammal, D., & LeCouteur, A. (2005).  A controlled trial of a training course for parents of children with suspected autism spectrum disorder.  Journal of Pediatrics, 147, 335-340.

Solomon, R., Necheles, J., Ferch, C. and Bruckman, D. (2007).  Pilot study of a parent training program for young children with autism: The P.L.A.Y. Project Home Consultation program.  Autism, 11, 205-224.

Related resources

MacDonald, J. & Stoika, P. (2007).  Play to Talk: A practical guide to help your late-talking child join the conversation.  Madison, WI: Kiddo Publishing.

MacDonald, J. (2004). Communicating Partners.  Philadelphia: Jessica Kingsley.

Mahoney, G. & MacDonald, J. (2007).  Autism and developmental delays in young children: The responsive teaching curriculum for parents and professionals.  Austin, TX: PRO-ED.

Greenspan, S. & Wieder, S. (1998). The Child with Special Needs.  Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley.Ayers, J. (1979).  Sensory integration and the child.  Los Angeles: Western Psychological Services.

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