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Mental Health America of WI, Marquette University, and CCMH

The Next Step Clinic

2545 N. 29th Street  |  Milwaukee, WI 53210 |  (414) 209-3631 (main) | | (414) 488-0057 (fax)


There are not enough resources in Milwaukee to meet the needs of our young children. This has led to late diagnosis, misdiagnosis, long waits for evaluation, and travel outside of the City of Milwaukee to access services. The Next Step Clinic was developed as another option for families to receive the developmental services they need, where they live, work, and play. The Next Step Clinic is a partnership between Mental Health America of Wisconsin, Marquette University, the Milwaukee Coalition for Children's Mental Health, and Next Door, Inc. along with many other partners. It is led by our Community Advisory Board (CAB), a group of parents, caregivers, advocates, and others who are passionate about changing how we provide services to better meet the needs of our community's children. The CAB guides the decisions we make on the services we provide and how we provide them.

Clinic Services

The Next Step Clinic is a mental and developmental health clinic for families with young children. Please contact us to get more information about available services for you and your child. The services we currently provide are:

  • Family Navigation for Autism

    Family Navigation is a short-term service to help parents and caregivers navigate the pathway from developmental screening through assessment and referral for services. We provide Family Navigation services for parents/caregivers of children in need of an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) assessment.

    The main purpose of Family Navigation is to:
    a) Help you feel comfortable with the Autism assessment process at the clinic,
    b) Answer your questions and help you learn more about your child’s diagnosis, and
    c) Help you access appropriate treatment and other supportive services after the assessment.and stay with them as needed through the assessment process.

    Should you want to utilize these services, our Family Navigators can be with you through your entire experience at the Next Step Clinic, and also support you once your child has been diagnosed, to help you connect to the necessary ASD-related services and benefits.

  • Developmental and Autism Spectrum Disorder Assessment

    The Next Step Clinic offers comprehensive medical evaluation for Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and developmental assessments for children 15 months to 10 years of age. These services are provided by a trained, licensed clinician and one of our students, and can be coordinated by your Family Navigator. We will talk to you first about what to expect and be sure to answer any questions you have.

  • Therapeutic Services for Children

    The Next Step Clinic is currently offering therapies for children aged 12 months to 6 years of age. Young children in therapy services benefit from working with both the therapist and their parent/caregiver. We are currently offering:
    - Parent-Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT) for children 2 through 6 years old, and
    - Early Start Denver Model (ESDM) for toddler and preschool children.

    Please ask us for more information about what is available for you and your child!

    Please note that we do not offer intensive in-home therapies such as Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) at the Next Step Clinic. We are happy to refer you out for that service should you decide it is a good fit for your child.

  • We do not offer intensive in-home therapies such as Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) at the Next Step Clinic.

    The Next Step Clinic does not provide intensive in-home therapies for children who have received an Autism Spectrum Disorder diagnosis. These therapies include Applied Behavioral Analysis and other therapies such as Occupational Therapy or Speech Therapy. When your child receives an assessment at the Next Step Clinic, your Family Navigator will help connect you to the services that are right for your child and your family.

    If you would like to know what is available in the Milwaukee area, please scroll down for links to up-to-date Autism resources, or contact us directly if you have specific questions.

  • Parent/Caregiver Groups

    We are offering in-person and virtual groups to provide support and resources for parents of children who have received Next Step Clinic services. These groups are free, and are a great way to connect with other parents and caregivers with similar experiences. Please ask us about our group schedule!

Referral Process:

If you are a concerned parent/caregiver, please call us at 414-209-3631 or email us at Let us know your name, the age of your child and  any concerns you may have. Please be sure to share your phone number and best time to contact you. If you know what services you are looking for, let us know that, too. To self-refer your child to the Next Step Clinic, download and fill out our referral form and email it to us at

If you are a medical or other service provider, and would like to make a referral, Once you have discussed the referral with them, please download and fill out our referral form. We also require a signed Release of Information form be signed by the parent/caregiver and submitted with the referral form. Please email both forms to us at or fax to 414-488-0057. Providers please note: How you make the referral is as important as the referral itself. Having a conversation with the parent/caregiver about your concerns and their options for screening and assessment is very important. When the family consents to the referral and is part of the process, they are more likely to follow up with us when we reach out. Please contact us if you'd like some support in having these sometimes difficult conversations.

Resources from our Partners:

The Autism Society of Southeastern Wisconsin (ASSEW) offers a ton of resources for parents, caregivers, advocates, and providers alike. Contact them at (414) 988-1260 or visit their website at for more information about Autism Spectrum Disorder, supports and services in your area.

The Southeast Regional Center - Children and Youth with Special Health Care Needs: The Southeast Regional Center is here to provide support to parents and caregivers of children with special health care needs, including Autism. Children from birth through age 21 qualify if they live with a physical, developmental, behavioral or emotional condition that has lasted over a year, or will last that long. Services are for those who require more health or educational services than other children their same age. You can reach them at (800) 234-KIDS (5437) or online at

Psst! If you've found us, but you're outside of the Southeastern Wisconsin area, call the Wisconsin First Step Hotline at (800) 642-7837 or visit for 24-hour information and referral assistance.

More resources to follow!

The Next Step Clinic is an outpatient clinic of Mental Health America of Wisconsin, in partnership with Marquette University. We are funded by a 2019 grant award through the Marquette University President's Challenge, in collaboration with Johnson Controls. Some services and equipment have been funded in part by the Advancing a Healthier Wisconsin Endowment at the Medical College of Wisconsin, the Funders' Collaborative at the Greater Milwaukee Foundation/Milwaukee Succeeds, United Way of Greater Milwaukee and Waukesha County, and the Stackner Foundation. We are grateful for their support and commitment to Milwaukee's children.