20+ Autism Treatment & Autism Testing Resources in Grand Rapids

Autism Treatment & Autism Testing Services

When our kids act differently from other kids, we worry. Do they have a disability? Can we help them? Will they grow out of this? Who can I talk to about this?

And when it’s a neurological difference, it can be even more confusing. It can look so different from kid to kid and therapy can range, too.

Where do you start?

You start here. We are going to break down what autism looks like, how autism testing works, the costs, and where to find autism therapists in Grand Rapids.

We also have a list of the best autism screening places in West Michigan.

Kids with neurological disorders navigate the world differently. Find the resources you need to help them, and you’ll be setting your child up for a better understanding of themselves and how they interact with others.

What is Autism Spectrum Disorder?

Autism, or Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD for short), is a disorder that impairs communication and interaction with others.

There are subcategories within ASD, such as Aspberger’s syndrome, but they all have the same umbrella symptoms. 

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

Autism testing isn't an exact process.

What are Autism Symptoms?

Autism symptoms manifest very differently from person to person.

Some autistic persons are non-verbal, while others could be a coworker or classmate who seems to have little difficulties communicating. (But they will tell you that they still do!)

Common symptoms include: 

  • Repetitive behaviors such as rocking back and forth or twirling hair between fingers
  • Obsessive interests. 
  • Difficulty with communication
  • Difficulty understanding social cues
  • Avoiding eye contact
  • Difficulty understanding or talking about other’s feelings

This chart is an example of the different areas ASD affects.

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.

Autism testing looks different from person to person, making Autism treatment vary widely, too.

What Autism Testing is Like

Like with ADHD, there is no standard test for Autism or any of the other spectrum disorders. 

Specialists often use a combination of indicators when making a diagnosis. They will observe the child’s behaviors, talk to family members about their observations, and even interview the child (if they’re old enough/verbal). 

When you’re looking for autism testing in Grand Rapids, start with your pediatrician. If your child has indications of autism or any other spectrum disorder, your pediatrician will refer you to other specialists including: 

Specialists will use the DSM-5 for an official diagnosis.

What Does Autism Testing Cost?

If you pay out of pocket, autism assessments run anywhere from $500-2,000 on average. A highly skilled professional is usually $1,200+. 

Insurance companies all have different rules for covering autism screening, so always talk to your insurance company first.

Some will cover part of the bill, and others not at all. You may need a referral for them to consider covering autism testing fees. 

Best Autism Testing in Grand Rapids

Wondering if your child may be on the autism spectrum?

There are many options for testing, some with long wait lists. These testers are worth the wait.

TOP Autism Spectrum Disorder Testing in Grand Rapids

1. BRAINS

2. Developmental Enhancement Behavioral Health GR

3. Center for Autism Kentwood

4. Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital

5. Center for Autism Holland

6. Center for Childhood Development

6. Counseling Center of West Michigan – Muskegon

Autism Services in West Michigan & Grand Rapids

These specialists can offer a variety of assistance for those on the spectrum, from speech and occupational therapy to autism testing.

Another great resource is The Autism Society of Michigan.

Counseling, Dance / Movement Therapy, Occupational Therapy, Sensory Therapy, Speech Therapy in Grand Rapids


Comprehensive Therapy Center

2505 Ardmore St SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49506-4915


We work with individuals with Autism who are in need of speech, sensory, occupational, or social-emotional therapeutic services.

Occupational Therapy, Speech Therapy in Grandville


Exemplary Speech Services

2880 Wilson Ave SW, Grandville, MI 49418


Our therapists have specialized training and experience providing Speech-Language and Occupational Therapy to children with Autism Spectrum Disorders to address speech, language, social, sensory and motor needs.

We also offer a program called Social Skills 4 Life.

Our SLP's use an individualized, but comprehensive program to teach social communication skills to support relationship-building, conflict resolution, social problem solving, interview/job skills and more.

This program is great for ages 8 and up.

Applied Behavior Analysis in Grand Rapids


Acorn Health ABA Therapy

1000 E. Paris SE, Suite 160, Grand Rapids, MI 49546

5943 Stadium Drive, Kalamazoo, MI 49009


Acorn Health helps children between the ages of 18 months and 21 years of age with an ASD diagnosis gain the tools they need to live meaningful and independent lives.

Applied Behavior Analysis in Grand Rapids


Centria Autism

625 Kenmoor Ave SE, Suite 111, Grand Rapids, MI 49546

4211 Division Avenue NE Suite 100, 200, Comstock Park, MI 49321


Bridging the gap from where our clients are, to where our clients want to be, through compassionate, client-centered care.

Counseling, Parental Support in Grand Rapids


Wedgwood Christian Services

3300 36th Street SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49512

12930 James Street - Suite 120, Holland, MI 49424


Wedgwood's Autism Center for Child Development provides individualized, center-based comprehensive early intensive behavioral intervention for young children and focused skills support for school-aged children in a fun, engaging environment.

Applied Behavior Analysis, Counseling in Grand Rapids


Wedgwood's Autism Center for Child Development

1260 Ekhart St NE, Grand Rapids, MI 49503


Wedgwood's Autism Center for Child Development provides individualized, center-based comprehensive early intensive behavioral intervention for young children and focused skills support for school-aged children in a fun, engaging environment.

Applied Behavior Analysis, Counseling, Diagnostic Testing, Occupational Therapy, Speech Therapy in Grand Rapids


BRAINS

3292 North Evergreen Drive NE, Grand Rapids, MI 49525

2900 East Beltline Avenue NE, Suite F, Grand Rapids, MI 49525


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.

Speech Therapy in Grand Rapids


Building Blocks Therapy Services

2922 Fuller Ave NE, Suite 107, Grand Rapids, MI 49505


Building Blocks Therapy Services is dedicated to offering the highest quality, research based treatment plans for speech, language and feeding that are individualized to each client.

Applied Behavior Analysis, Diagnostic Testing, Speech Therapy in Jenison


Lighthouse Autism Center

8413 Cottonwood Drive, Jenison, MI 49428


Lighthouse Autism Center offers the highest-quality autism therapy in a beautiful, play-based environment.

Children are immersed in imaginary spaces where they can naturally explore their interests, engage in sensory experiences,

Physical Therapy, Speech Therapy in Grandville


Apogee Therapy Center

3010 Wilson Ave. SW, Grandville, MI 49418


At Apogee Therapy Center, we service children with Autism who require speech therapy assistance for a variety of needs.

We provide receptive and expressive language treatment, executive functioning treatment, social skills support, and functional life skill training for kids of all ages with Autism.

We will collaborate closely with your child's school to help support your child in every way possible to ensure their success.

Occupational Therapy, Parental Support, Sensory Therapy in Grand Rapids


CAYA Therapies


CAYA Therapies prioritizes the social-emotional experience of development, ensuring patients feel safe and secure as they learn and grow. Services are always relationship-based, sensory-informed, and tailored to the patient's interests.

5 Pointers for 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. You are not alone and there are local autism services that can help you.

#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.

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About The Author

16 thoughts on “20+ Autism Treatment & Autism Testing Resources in Grand Rapids”

  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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