In 2016, nearly 20,000 students in Michigan met eligibility as a student with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Unfortunately, there are only about 603 Board Certified Assistant Behavioral Analysts (BCABA) in Michigan and most of the providers have long waiting lists. There is a great need for more certified professionals trained to treat children with autism.

The Central Autism Treatment Center in Mt. Pleasant, Michigan is focused on educating university students to become Board Certified Behavioral Analysts and providing quality care for children with autism spectrum disorder. Michigan Lt. Governor, Brian Calley told ABC12 News that the state needs between 1,500 to 2,000 certified autism service providers to increase access and quality of care.

Source: ABC12 News

Central Michigan University (CMU) manages and oversees the Central Autism Treatment Center. The center relies heavily on grant funding to train workers and CMU students may complete course fieldwork at the center. The center was granted a $500,000 grant from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services to expand the services for children and families affected by autism. “We really are training the future providers of applied behavioral analysis services in the state of Michigan”, Christie Nutkins, Director of the Center, told Central Michigan University News. One of the centers goals is to have people from Michigan to stay in Michigan instead of moving away due to the lack of providers that specialize in autism treatment. The center has about 15 students that have become board certified in autism behavioral analysis.

Brian Davis is one of the 15 students. Davis earned his Behavioral Analyst Certification from the Central Autism Treatment Center and is currently working at the center. “Working here is extremely rewarding because our field is so data driven, you are able to see what your personal impact has on a child over a month’s time”, Davis told Central Michigan University News. The center hopes to continue to train students and publish research that can help other training centers.

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