Find the Best Autism Services in Michigan for Your Family
Every autistic person is different, and they and their families have unique needs. So, finding the right support services can go a long way toward making life a little easier!
Waypoints offers one-on-one applied behavior analysis (ABA) sessions, which can help with goal setting, education, self-help and -advocacy, and general skill building. You can learn more about our use of ABA at https://waypoints.life/our-services/aba-skills-training/, as well as in previous blog posts such as Applied Behavior Analysis in Simple Terms and What ABA Therapists Do.
However, ABA is not the be-all and end-all. Depending on your and your family’s goals and needs, other therapeutic services and disability-accommodating events and activities can be just as, if not more so, helpful.
Outside of ABA, other helpful therapeutic and educational services include occupational therapy, speech therapy, clinical child or family therapy, and specialized school settings. You can learn more about various alternatives and supplements to ABA in another one of our blog posts here!
- Heartstone Guidance Center offers explicitly neurodiversity-affirming therapeutic services to help with “processing difficult life events, reducing life stressors, enhancing your coping strategies, processing grief, reducing anxiety, improving relationships, exploring or discovering your authentic life path, reconnecting with yourself, etc.”
- For younger children up to age 3, Michigan’s Early On is an excellent resource for referrals to support services. “It’s designed to help families find the social, health, and educational services that will promote the development of their infants and toddlers with special needs.”
- For children ready to start school, the Michigan Alliance for Families can provide support in accessing high-quality special education.
- Later in one’s education, Project SEARCH “provides local high school students with disabilities the opportunity to train, gain, and maintain employment through businesses and organization opportunities.”
- At Waypoints, we are contracted with Ottawa County Community Mental Health (CMH). Scrolling down a bit on their website, you can find a list of mental health supports that offer telehealth and/or online services.
- The Ottawa County CMH is in turn overseen by the Lakeshore Regional Entity provider network. You can search the entirety of each regional provider network at this link!
Disability-Accommodating Events and Activities
Outside of strictly therapeutic or educational resources, events and activities that actively accommodate diverse needs also offer wonderful support in day-to-day life. Some examples that you might want to keep an eye out for include neurodiverse social groups, sensory-friendly options at museums and parks, and neurodiversity-affirming events.
- Also on the Ottawa County CMH website, you can find a list of social and recreational programs for adults with disabilities.
- In 2021, Grand Valley State University began the START Project, which pursues intentional accommodation of neurodiversity and “inclusivity, equality, and acceptance of autistic individuals as part of our society.” Their website provides an incredible wealth of resources including information about peer-to-peer activities, frequently asked questions for families, and much more.
- As reported by our own Brittany Wick, the Children’s Museum in Grand Rapids does a phenomenal job catering to sensory-sensitive families.
- Blandford Nature Center provides opportunities for hiking, playing, and learning. It is in general a peaceful area, but they have also been hosting explicitly sensory-friendly evening events and guided hikes.
- Arts in Motion, in Grand Rapids, “provides opportunities for individuals with disabilities to express themselves, develop peer relationships, and improve motor skills through the creative arts.”
- In Wayland, Paws with a Cause is a non-profit that helps to train specialized assistance dogs, including service dogs for autistic children.
- At Legacy Stables, Karin’s Horse Connection specifically accommodates guests of all abilities. An online review states, “Karin’s Horse Connection offers 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.”
- The Holland Aquatic Center offers aquatic therapy, specialized swimming lessons, and handicap-accessible pools and splash zones.
- The Autism Society of Michigan provides a helpful search engine at this link, allowing you to find resources by both county and by service type.
- Even more sensory-friendly activities in Grand Rapids can be found in this article!
Any Suggestions? Contact Us!
Whatever your needs, support options are available for you. We at Waypoints can be a part of your support team and can also assist you in accessing other services as needed.
As always, you can learn about the services available at Waypoints here on our own website, at https://waypoints.life/our-services/. If you have any suggestions for additional resources that we can list here, or if you would like further assistance seeking out options, please don’t hesitate to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org!
Having a support network in place plays an important role in improving and maintaining wellbeing for people of all ages.
Get in Touch With Waypoints
Whether you’re looking for diagnostic testing, one-on-one in-home ABA therapy and skill-building resources, or simply want to learn more about our unique approach, please don’t hesitate to reach out! (We love getting mail.)