Autism Services for West Michigan Families

autism services in west mi

What is Autism?

It used to be that kids with neurological disorders were often criticized by society – both at home and at school. Parents would be frustrated with their children and their children had no clue why they were misunderstood.

Nowadays we understand that kids with neurological disorders just navigate the world differently than us. Parents now have resources and autism services available to both help them understand their neurologically different kid, and for the child to understand how their brain works.

Autism, or Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD for short), is one such developmental disability. People on the ASD spectrum may be challenged in their learning, thinking, and communication abilities.

Signs of autism start in early childhood, although it is not always diagnosed at a young age.

Within the autism community, there is a lot of debate over how people prefer to be addressed, the symbolism used to represent those on the spectrum, and even what constitutes good therapy.

This chart is an example of the different ways people conceptualize ASD.

The reason for the circular grid is because autism looks different for each impacted individual. Two different autistic people will experience ASD in very different ways, yet they both have autism.

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5 Helpful Things to Know About Parenting a Child on the Autism Spectrum

#1

Children with Autistic Spectrum Disorder Experience a Wide Variety of Symptoms

Sensitivity to sounds, difficulty relating to others, excessive interest in specific topics or subjects, unexpected emotional responses, and picky eating are just a few. Not every person experiences all of the symptoms, and the degree to which they are experienced will vary.

#2

Children on the Spectrum can Make Great Improvements with Early Intervention

Children on the autism spectrum can make significant improvement in their ability to function at home and school and in the community. Research shows that early intervention for children on the autism spectrum is crucial to their success.

#3

Different Methods Work for Different Kids With Autism Spectrum Disorder

I have learned that certain methods (such as the use of visual supports) work for nearly all children with autism. I have also learned that you have to be creative with each kid. You have to incorporate their intense interests into therapy and start where they are.

#4

You are Not Alone In Your Journey to Care for Your Special Needs Child

Accepting that your child is different but still recognizing all of his or her talents is key. Advocating for your child in all settings (school, child care, the community, with your relatives and elsewhere) is also important.

#5

Talk to Your Doctor About Your Child’s Development

If you have concerns about your child’s development, your pediatrician is a good place to start. Your child’s preschool, school, or local ISD are all good resources, too.

Autism Services in West Michigan & Grand Rapids

Ken-O-Sha

1353 Van Auken St SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49508

Students who reside within Grand Rapids Public Schools are provided services in a continuum of settings including home or school buildings located throughout the district.

Programs include: 
-Early Childhood Special Education, 
Autism Spectrum Disorder
-Emotional Impairment
-Moderate Cognitive Impairment
-Resource Programs.

Ken-O-Sha Early Childhood Center provides services to children birth through age five with developmental delays.

Call Child Find Hotline 616-819-3514

Pine Rest

300 68th Street SE, Grand Rapids MI 49548

Mental health services.

They provide testing & assessment for ADHD, autism, learning disabilities and cognitive impairment at the Psychological Consultation Center and Parent Support and Counseling Services through the Outpatient Clinic Network.

800.678.5500

Hope Network Center for Autism

1256 Walker Ave NW, Grand Rapids, MI 49504

All locations are open, providing center, in home, and telehealth treatment options. Through ABA therapy and comprehensive clinical services, we provide everyone we serve with an opportunity to thrive.

Prescreening Tool for Autism in Toddlers

844.969.0252

Mary Free Bed Kids – Autism Spectrum Disorder Program

1550 Three Mile Road NW, Grand Rapids, MI 49544

Diagnosis
Mary Free Bed, an Approved Autism Evaluation Center (AAEC), offers diagnostic services.
Before treatment can begin, a diagnosis of autism from an AAEC is required by Blue Cross Blue Shield and Blue Care Network. An autism diagnosis is required for all patients to receive ABA therapy.
Call 616.840.8946 to check insurance eligibility.

Treatment
Supervised by a Board-Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA), ABA therapy is an intensive, evidence-based autism services treatment technique. Plans of care utilize reinforcement and other specialized strategies to help improve your child’s overall functioning.

616.840.8807

Brains Autism Services

3292 N Evergreen Drive NE Grand Rapids, MI 49525

BRAINS offers a team of professionals specializing in assessment and therapy services for children and adults with autistic spectrum disorders.

Autism Services: Therapies can target challenges with sensory processing or self-regulation, counseling for emotional challenges, behavioral therapy, social skills training, and developing strategies for parents and teachers.

616.365.8920

Autism Support of Kent County

160- 68th Street SW, Grand Rapids, MI 49548

Inside the Special Olympics Unified Sports & Inclusion Center, Room 5

Autism Support of Kent County (ASK) works to provide services that make it possible for individuals with autism to lead healthier and more productive lives! ASK funds programs, worth over $75,000 annually, for individuals affected by Autism Spectrum Disorder and their families!

Autism Support of Kent County Event Calendar

(616) 752.8577

Autism Support of West Shore

PO Box 39, Spring Lake, MI 49456

Autism Support of West Shore (ASWS) is a 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization advocating and supporting meaningful participation in all aspects of life for individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder and their families throughout the West Michigan area.

ASWS provides:
-The HOPE newsletter—sharing personal stories, summaries of relevant events and calendar of activities locally and around the state.
-Informal social groups for families and those who care for individuals with ASD to meet, eat and share
-Speaker series and workshops
-Community family activities for individuals with ASD, parents and siblings
-Scholarships for qualifying individuals and family for out of pocket cost for therapies, equipment, and autism services
-Scholarships for teachers of individuals with ASD for training registration, micro businesses within the school community, and school or transportation equipment
-Resource information (local and state) 

616-395-3222

Autism Center for Child Development – Wedgwood Christian Services

1260 Elhart St NE, Grand Rapids MI 49503

Wedgwood Christian Services’ Autism Center for Child Development provides comprehensive early intensive behavioral intervention (EIBI) for young children with autism spectrum disorders. Our therapy is based on the principles of applied behavior analysis (ABA) and is individualized for each child.

Services are for young children, primarily residing in Kent County, ages 18 months to 6 years, with an autism spectrum disorder diagnosis.

(616) 965-3492

Testing & Assessment Center – Counseling Center of West Michigan

360 East Beltline Ave NE Suite 100, Grand Rapids, MI 49506 & many others

Counseling Center of West Michigan provides a wide range of psychological testing and assessments, each led by psychologists with extensive experience and training in neuropsychological and psychological testing and interpretation. Testing is offered in Grand Rapids and at our Muskegon Campus.

Tests offered include:
Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) Testing
Autism Screening
& many more

(616) 805-3660

Horizons Developmental Resource Center

3120 68th St SE Caledonia, MI 49316

The Horizons Developmental Resource Center provides family-focused treatment for developmental disabilities including autism, communication problems, speech and language problems, feeding problems, sensory-motor problems & behavior problems.

Our team specializes in comprehensive evaluation of emotional, behavior, learning, communication, relational, and sensory processing challenges.  We utilize a wide variety of formal and informal assessment tools to gain a complete picture of each patient’s functioning.

(616) 698-0306

Acorn Health

Many West Michigan Locations

Our behavior analytic professionals develop, apply, and share the latest advances in the science of ABA, always focused on data and outcomes. Acorn Health providers combine proven best practices with pioneering, evidence-based next practices, engaging whole families.

(231) 668-4909

Use the search fields below to sort listings by services offered or disability served.

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About Karin's Horse Connection at Legacy Stables

Everyone - all ages, physical, mental, and social (dis)abilities - are welcome at Karin’s Horse Connection!

Our experienced and certified staff works with 25 well trained, happy horses/ponies to meet a variety of needs. No matter if you want to nurture your mental health, build muscle and balance, healthy confidence, or to raise your quality of life, we can pick YOU up where YOU are individually.

In addition to traditional saddles, we use unique equipment which offers more security through big handles and a wider range of motion for the rider. You can also safely experience the different movements of the horse (slower/faster).

Horses are beneficial for your health and FUN!

Our goal is to connect you to the healing power of horses and bring a smile to your face.

“There is something about the outside of a horse that is good for the inside of man.” -Winston Churchill

Testimonial
“Karin’s Horses have been a life-enhancing experience for my nephew over the last 13 years. Through riding/vaulting he has improved strength, confidence, balance, self-worth, and quality of life.” -Pat


SERVICES: Therapeutic Riding
DISABILITY: ADHD, Anxiety, Autism, Cerebral Palsy, Down Syndrome, Dyslexia, Epilepsy, Hearing Impairment, PTSD, Speech Impairment
RESOURCE TYPE: Local Business, Local Nonprofit

About Comprehensive Therapy Center

Established in 1982, your local nonprofit Comprehensive Therapy Center provides programs and services to meet the therapeutic and educational needs of children with disabilities.

Our professional staff help children and families through skill building, academic enhancement, and social emotional support.

Services include dance/movement therapy, myofunctional therapy, occupational therapy, sensory therapy, and speech-language pathology.

Programs include playgroups for children 0-5, social groups for school-age children, parent support and counseling services, our clinical summer program Therapy & Fun, creative arts classes, and more.

CTC is CARF accredited and part of the Kent County Ready by Five Provider Network.

Testimonial
“Levi has almost reached his goal, and I am speechless at his progress. We highly recommend [CTC] and talk about it’s benefits at our IEP meetings and with fellow parents.”


SERVICES: Counseling, Dance / Movement Therapy, Occupational Therapy, Sensory Therapy, Speech Therapy
DISABILITY: ADHD, Anxiety, Autism, Cerebral Palsy, Down Syndrome, Dyspraxia, Language Development, Speech Impairment
RESOURCE TYPE: Local Nonprofit

About BRAINS

At BRAINS, we strive to change lives by identifying each individual's unique strengths and potential for growth and incorporating these traits into attainable goals.

BRAINS is an assessment and treatment center offering a variety of services to help children and families navigate the journey to better mental and physical health.

Our team of professionals offer expertise in psychological and neuropsychological assessments, counseling, speech therapy, occupational therapy, and applied behavior analysis.

Our multidisciplinary approach ensures a comprehensive and customized treatment plan.

Contact us today to discover how BRAINS can help your child thrive at home, at school, and in the community!

Testimonial
Our evaluation and recommendations were spot-on and life-changing for our family! We have recommended BRAINS to others and will continue to do so. - Cindy Meteyer


SERVICES: Applied Behavior Analysis, Counseling, Diagnostic Testing, Occupational Therapy, Speech Therapy
DISABILITY: ADHD, Anxiety, Autism, Cerebral Palsy, Depression & Mood Disorders, Dyslexia, Epilepsy, Language Development, Motor Disorders, Other Learning Disorders, Other Mood Disorders, Prenatal Drug and/or Alcohol Exposure, Processing Disorders, PTSD, Speech Impairment, Traumatic Brain Injury
RESOURCE TYPE: Local Business

About Building Blocks Therapy Services, LLC

Building Blocks Therapy Services mission is to provide professional speech and language services from infancy to adulthood for a variety of disorders.

We are dedicated to offering the highest quality, research based, speech and language treatment plans that are individualized to each client.

Every therapist at Building Blocks is passionate about providing knowledge and skills that will enhance the daily lives of the clients and their families.


SERVICES: Speech Therapy
DISABILITY: Autism, Language Development, Speech Impairment
RESOURCE TYPE: Local Business

About Wedgwood's Autism Center for Child Development

Wedgwood provides comprehensive early intensive behavioral intervention services for young children with autism spectrum disorders.

Exceptional, high-quality, individualized, center-based therapy is offered in a fun, engaging environment that sets kids and families up for brighter futures.


SERVICES: Counseling
DISABILITY: Autism
RESOURCE TYPE: Local Nonprofit

About Family Tree Therapies

Family Tree Therapies is a private clinic that specializes in occupational and speech therapy.

Our unique approach combines the best of all current research-based therapy techniques and individualize a program for your child.

We work together as a team to understand your child’s sensory system and communication skills.


SERVICES: Occupational Therapy, Speech Therapy
DISABILITY: ADHD, Anxiety, Autism, Down Syndrome, Dyslexia, Language Development, Motor Disorders, Other Learning Disorders, Processing Disorders, Speech Impairment
RESOURCE TYPE: Local Business

About Mitten Speech Therapy

We specialize in the treatment of pediatric speech sound disorders, language disorders, and literacy skills for children ages 2-18 throughout Michigan.

Our therapists are ASHA-certified Speech-Language Pathologists (SLPs) who have the knowledge and expertise to help your child reach milestones and advance their language skills.

Testimonial
Our whole world has improved over here. My son has built so much confidence and is living a better quality of life within just a few months of beginning speech.


SERVICES: Speech Therapy
DISABILITY: Autism, Down Syndrome, Language Development, Speech Impairment
RESOURCE TYPE: Local Business

About Apogee Therapy Center

Apogee Therapy Center is a family owned business offering speech therapy, physical therapy, and nutrition therapy to patients from infancy to adulthood.

Our friendly, knowledgeable clinicians are committed to providing individualized treatment plans to treat the whole patient.

Apogee is here to help you reach your peak performance!


SERVICES: Physical Therapy, Speech Therapy
DISABILITY: Autism, Cerebral Palsy, Down Syndrome, Speech Impairment
RESOURCE TYPE: Local Business

710 Kenmoor Ave SE, Suite 110 Grand Rapids, MI 49546

About Paper Plane Therapies

At Paper Plane Therapies, we create an engaging, warm, and creative atmosphere that considers the needs of the entire family. It is our goal to identify barriers and construct a functional plan to help the child and their family reach their fullest potential and lead happy and healthy lives.


SERVICES: Occupational Therapy, Speech Therapy
DISABILITY: ADHD, Anxiety, Autism, Down Syndrome, Dyslexia, Language Development, Other Learning Disorders, Other Mood Disorders, Speech Impairment
RESOURCE TYPE: Local Business

, MI

About Michigan Alliance for Families

A statewide resource for families of children with disabilities to help improve educational services and outcomes.


SERVICES: Counseling
DISABILITY: ADHD, Autism, Cerebral Palsy, Cognitive Impairment, Down Syndrome, Epilepsy, Hearing Impairment, Other Learning Disorders, Speech Impairment, Traumatic Brain Injury
RESOURCE TYPE: Local Nonprofit

235 Wealthy St SE Grand Rapids, MI 49503

About Mary Free Bed Pediatric Rehabilitation and Therapy

An inpatient rehabilitation hospital where pediatric doctors, nurses, and therapists treat young people who have experienced brain injury, brain related illnesses and concussion, cancer, neurological conditions, stroke, spinal cord injury, fractures, chronic pain conditions, surgery, burns and other debilitating illnesses and injuries.


SERVICES: Counseling, Occupational Therapy, Physical Therapy, Sensory Therapy, Speech Therapy
DISABILITY: Autism, Cerebral Palsy, Cognitive Impairment, Hearing Impairment, Language Development, Prenatal Drug and/or Alcohol Exposure, Speech Impairment, Traumatic Brain Injury
RESOURCE TYPE: Local Business

, MI

About Hope Network

Provides services including rehabilitation, behavioral health, developmental and community support.


SERVICES: Counseling
DISABILITY: Anxiety, Autism, Depression & Mood Disorders, Motor Disorders, Other Mood Disorders
RESOURCE TYPE: Local Nonprofit

, MI

About Ken-O-Sha

Students who reside within Grand Rapids Public Schools are provided services in a continuum of settings including home or school buildings located throughout the district.

Programs include: Early Childhood Special Education, Autism Spectrum Disorder, Emotional Impairment, Moderate Cognitive Impairment, and Resource Programs.

Ken-O-Sha Early Childhood Center provides services to children birth through age five with developmental delays.


SERVICES:
DISABILITY: Autism, Cognitive Impairment
RESOURCE TYPE: Local Nonprofit

3120 68th Street SE Caledonia, MI 49316

About Horizons Developmental Resource Center

Horizons works with individuals and families who have a variety of neurological, psychological, physical, and relational symptoms.

Includes assistance for children with Bipolar Disorder, Cerebral Palsy, Epilepsy, Traumatic Brain Injury and many more.


SERVICES: Applied Behavior Analysis, Counseling
DISABILITY: ADHD, Anxiety, Autism, Cerebral Palsy, Epilepsy, Language Development, Other Learning Disorders, Other Mood Disorders, Traumatic Brain Injury
RESOURCE TYPE: Local Business

Autism Support Groups on Facebook

Autism Resources in the State of Michigan or Nationwide

16 thoughts on “Autism Services for West Michigan Families”

  1. Calvin College Rehabilitation Services (CCRS) is an outpatient clinic offering a variety of pediatric services including Speech and Language Pathology, Occupational Therapy, Physical Therapy, Social Work, and Audiology. CCRS is a collaborative effort of Calvin College, Western Michigan University and Grand Valley State University using licensed therapists as well as graduate students to meet the therapy needs of our clients. CCRS strives to serve all clients regardless of their ability to pay for their rehabilitative services. To that end, Calvin Rehab will assist those clients who are experiencing significant financial hardship or lack of insurance converge through reduced fee charges.

  2. Hello,
    We have a new aquatic program at Holland Community Aquatic Center for kids with special needs. I’m attaching all of the information. It would be great if you can post so families can check it out.
    Thank you!!

  3. I own Sensational Steps Therapy, Inc., which provides pediatric occupational therapy services along the Lakeshore (based out of Grand Haven). At Sensational Steps, our mission is to provide pediatric therapy services in a play environment, allowing each child to grow and develop to their full potential through the participation in meaningful activities. We specialize in the use of Stanley Greenspan’s DIR Floortime, Sensory Integration, Handwriting Without Tears, Integrated Listening Systems (ILS), and the Alert Program. We are currently providing home-based services, and also run OT-related groups and a summer camp. The website is https://sites.google.com/site/sensationalstepstherapy/ and our number is 616-402-6997. Thank you!

  4. I am the owner of The Center for Childhood Development which specializes in providing occupational, physical and speech therapy services for children and young adults. We are panelled with BCBS, Priority Health and several private insurances. Our website is w.thecenterforcd.com and our number is #616-667-9551

    1. The Center for Childhood Development is a multi-disciplinary assessment and treatment center located in West Michigan (Jenison and Holland). Their team of occupational, speech, and physical therapists have extensive experience in working with children, birth through adolescence, and their families. As Molly mentioned above, they are also paneled with BCBS, Priority Health, and several private insurances.

  5. Katie Diffenderfer

    Karin’s Horse Connection does therapeutic riding for those with special needs, both physical and mental. My son goes to Karin’s and LOVES it! It has really helped with his core strength. There is also the Equest Center for Therapeutic Riding.

  6. Jennifer Gilman via Facebook

    Arts in Motion Studio (www.artsinmotionstudio.com) provides opportunities for individuals with disabilities to express themselves, develop peer relationships, and improve motor skills through the creative arts. We’ve been a part of this organization for many years and enjoy watching these kids and adults gain such self-confidence and pride in what they achieve.

  7. Easter Seals has so many services I did not realize how much help they can be. Feeding Therapy, Sensory program, OT, PT and speech and more also offer a Sat respite program. Great resource! I really enjoyed and utilized them. Prices were right as well. BRAINS was another resource and had even more to offer. I used them for FeldenKrais therapy which is AWESOME for many, many issues. We had a child with sensory issues and some motor skill delays. Early On was great for giving me ideas and pointing out services like Easter Seals and BRAINS. I have heard great things about Family Tree as well but have never used them.

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