University of Wisconsin–Madison

Starting Together

The Starting Together Program is an early treatment program founded on the principles and strategies of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) and the Early Start Denver Model (ESDM). Our interdisciplinary team works closely with parents to plan an individualized treatment program; to build on child and family strengths, enhance relationships, address the symptoms of autism, develop skills for participation in everyday activities, close developmental gaps, and teach alternatives to challenging or concerning behavior.  Individual intervention for the child with parent education and parent coaching options are available. Comprehensive (Intensive) and Focused (Non Intensive) levels of service are available to children ages 2-6 years.  Bachelor’s level Treatment Specialists provide 1:1 treatment during daily sessions. Supervision for the 1:1 Treatment Specialists is provided by a certified ESDM therapist, and licensed Master’s level clinicians, from the disciplines of speech language pathology, occupational therapy and social work. Program direction and supervision is provided by a licensed doctoral level Behavior Analyst and certified Early Start Denver Model (ESDM) therapist.

Starting Together shares space with the Waisman Early Childhood Program (WECP), an inclusive early childhood program at the Waisman Center. Treatment session activities take place in the Starting Together classroom, 1:1 play spaces, outdoor play area, library, and gym.

Enrollment options include:

  • 30 hours of 1:1 treatment (comprehensive preschool ) Monday through Friday, 8:30am-2:30pm
  • 15 hours of 1:1 treatment (focused preschool) Monday through Friday, 8:30am-11:30am OR 11:30am-2:30pm
  • 6 hours of 1:1 treatment (focused Kindergarten/1st grade) Monday, Wednesday and Friday, 3:30 – 5:30pm.

All treatment services are provided at the Waisman Center.

Starting Together Staff

Madeline C. Barger, MS, LMFT, BCBA

Program Coordinator, Autism Treatment Programs

Shauna Buechner, BS

Autism Treatment Specialist

Kara Condon, BA

Autism Treatment Specialist

Meggan Dubin, MA

Treatment Services Supervisor

Lisa McCarthy, BA

Autism Treatment Specialist

Molly Murphy, PhD, BCBA-D

Lead Supervisor, Autism Treatment Programs

Maggie Opelt, BS

Autism Treatment Specialist

Erin Thomson, MSW, LCSW

Licensed Clinical Social Worker