At the Great Lakes Center for Autism Treatment and Research we focus on evidence-based therapies that are a proven way to teach new skills and help reduce symptoms of autism. Nearly 50 percent of children with autism who receive an early intensive intervention with ABA attain normal IQs and are educated in regular classrooms with minimal assistance.


What is Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA)?

ABA is the implementation and evaluation of environmental modifications designed to produce socially significant improvement in human behavior. ABA treats behavioral difficulties by changing the individual’s environment rather than focusing on variables that are, at least presently, beyond our control.


How does the Great Lakes Center use ABA to treat my child?

By modifying what happens before the behavior occurs and what happens after the behavior occurs, we can change the behavior itself.


      • Sometimes that means teaching or increasing a behavior (for example, communication, self-care, basic learning skills and social skills).


      • Sometimes that means reducing a challenging behavior (for example, tantrums, aggression, self-injury, property destruction).


      • When teaching new behaviors, we allow many opportunities for the child to practice the skill.


      • Rewards are provided for practicing the skill correctly.


      • If the child practices the skill incorrectly, the therapist shows him/her how to do it the right way and may help the child complete the skill correctly with physical guidance.


      • This takes place in different locations with different people so the child learns to use the skill in natural settings

Coordinating your child’s treatment

Your participation in your child’s treatment is very important. Children with autism and other developmental disabilities sometimes have trouble demonstrating what they’ve learned with different people and in different settings. Therefore, you will be shown how you can help your child practice at home what they are learning in therapy sessions. With your permission, your child’s teacher, other service providers, siblings and friends may also be involved in coordinating treatment.