Intensive Residential Treatment with Great Lakes Center for Autism Treatment and Research
Our Intensive Residential Treatment Program uses the principles of applied behavior analysis to help children with autism and those with other developmental disabilities reduce their unsafe behaviors.
Children enter our program with high rates of aggression or self-injurious behaviors where it is unsafe for them to be in their home environment. The ultimate goal of a stay at the Great Lakes Center for Autism Treatment and Research is for each child to be able to return home where treatment can continue under the guidance of a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA).
Steps to achieving our goal:
- Each child takes part in a comprehensive functional behavioral assessment
- Each child participates in an intensive behavior plan written by the BCBA based on the functional assessment
- As the child begins to attain his/her individualized goals, the intensity of the behavior plan is reduced and, if possible, medication is decreased
- Parents and caregivers learn to help the child be successful in other environments as outlined in the parent training section below.
A Day of Learning
During typical school hours children spend time in classrooms working one-on-one or in small groups on programming selected by the BCBA from the Autism Curriculum Encyclopedia. The children also work with our special education teacher from the Kalamazoo Area Educational Service Agency (KRESA), participating in structured physical activity in the gym, or playing outside. When the child is ready, he/she will begin attending school through KRESA outside of the center. This will vary for each child and will be determined by the BCBA and the special education teacher.
After school hours, the children gather and socialize in the hearth rooms, common living areas, or outside. During these times, children are still practicing communication and daily living goals. These goals include, but are not limited to:
- Cleaning their rooms
- Washing clothes
- Folding clothes
- Interacting with peers
- Engaging in hobbies
While the child is achieving his/her behavioral goals, parents participate in a minimum of 10 hours of parent training. This entails:
- Learning to implement the child’s behavior plan using the same techniques and skills used by the staff at GLC
- Practicing these skills with the child under the supervision of the GLC staff
- Providing additional training for community living support and school staff to gain the skills required to foster the child’s continued success
Steps to Receive Services (for parents)
The Great Lakes Center (GLC) placements are primarily funded by two entities:
- Medicaid through the Community Mental Health (CMH) agency of the county where the child resides
- Department of Human Service – through the foster care system
Private insurance seldom pays for treatment. Insurance companies that have paid in the past have done so under extraordinary circumstances.
First steps to receive service at GLC
Learn about your options:
- Educate yourself on the CMH agency’s responsibilities and your recipient rights
- Placing a child in a program like GLC’s Intensive Treatment Program is not a regular occurrence at a CMH, and your case manager may have very limited experience in the process
- The CMH may not even be aware that placement out of the home is an option that Medicaid can fund
- If your child currently receives CMH services, call your CMH agency
- Talk to your case manager
- Ask them to discuss your request with a supervisor even if they do not think this service is an option
Ensure your case manager follows up with GLC directly:
- Make sure the CMH is following up with you and GLC
- Be persistent in advocating for your child!