CATCH (Childhood Autism Team Check) Clinic

Wyoming Valley Children’s Association’s CATCH Clinic has been evaluating children from Luzerne and Wyoming counties since 2007.  We are proud to say that to date, over 350 children have been evaluated.  Currently, the CATCH team is made up of Hazleton Area School District Staff (as they are the MAWA, Mutually Agreed Upon Written Agreement, unit for Luzerne County), local behavioral agency staff, coordinators from Early Intervention, Dr. Michael Kelley, and a WVCA coordinator.  The CATCH team was developed after a similar effort in the Chester County Intermediate Unit and addresses the need of the increasing number of children being diagnosed on the autism spectrum.

During an initial evaluation with Early Intervention (Under 3 MHDS) or Hazleton Area Early Intervention (PreSchool), families complete a screening and if needed, they are referred to the CATCH team.  The CATCH team completes an evaluation using the ADOS (Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule) and a neurodevelopmental exam is completed by the nurse practitioner.  The evaluation is completed in a facility that has a one-way mirror, which eliminates the need for a number of individuals in the exam room.  Families receive immediate feedback about the evaluation from the entire team.  They are provided suggestions for further services as needed.  Families and referring agencies receive copies of the report as well as the child’s primary care physician.

Members of the CATCH team have completed training for the toddler portion of the ADOS.  Since June 2014, coordinators are using a revised MCHAT which can be used for children as young as 16 months.  The availability of CATCH has assisted many families over the years to obtain a timely evaluation and follow-up has been provided by WVCA and other agencies, as needed.

Please call 570-714-1246 for more information or email Joanne Lavelle at