Waypoints Now Also Provides Autism Support for Kent County!
In a previous blog post, Find the Best Autism Services in Michigan for Your Family, I reviewed many of the therapeutic and disability-accommodating resources that our state has to offer. At the time, Waypoints was operating exclusively in Ottawa County, and so I focused on that particular region when rounding up recommendations. However, many options in and around Grand Rapids were listed there as well – I encourage you to take a look, if you haven’t yet!
And good news – Waypoints is now contracted with Network 180 in Kent County too! This means that individuals and families in the greater Grand Rapids community will receive information about our company when seeking out services through their insurance providers. But why go with Waypoints among all of the options available?
Oftentimes, the choice of company to provide Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) services is simply a matter of which one has availability of both care team providers and session times that accommodate everyone’s schedules.
At Waypoints, we are currently hiring additional Board Certified Behavior Analysts (BCBAs) and behavior technicians to help support clientele in our new geographic reach. Currently, we maintain an average of just 15 days between receiving a client referral and beginning assessments, and 60 days between that referral and the start of in-home services.
As described in our blog post regarding barriers to ABA services in Michigan, part of that wait time is governed by waiting for approvals from insurance providers, but our scheduling team works hard to be ready to hit the ground running as soon as we get the green light.
Our Values and Goals
As is the case with many similar companies, Waypoints offers one-on-one in-home ABA sessions, which can help with goal-setting, education, self-help and -advocacy, and skill-building in general. What we believe sets us apart is our client-centered focus on assent during all steps of services, and our celebration of neurodiversity.
Unfortunately, ABA can be used in harmful ways, and that is something that we always keep in mind when applying the science of behavior analysis. While we do provide behavior reduction support upon request, we do so only with direct client input and with the use of least-restrictive techniques.
As part of our wholehearted support of the neurodiversity movement, we assert that autism is not something to be cured. Instead, our focus is on offering learning opportunities and support to help navigate a world that is often lacking in accommodations. To that end, we actually do not conceptualize our use of ABA as therapy in the usual sense of the word, but rather as a skill-building tool.
If you would like to learn more about our use of ABA, please feel free to visit our ABA skills training services page, as well as previous blog posts such as Applied Behavior Analysis in Simple Terms and What ABA Therapists Do!
Waypoints is owned and operated solely by BCBAs, two of whom are doctoral-level. We strongly believe that client-centered services are often hindered by the impact of financial interests of people who are not prioritizing clinical needs, so this is an important distinction.
While each client’s case is overseen by a clinical supervisor, employees in the role of behavior technicians are our direct service providers. Each of our behavior technicians complete a minimum of 40 hours of training before onboarding with us, followed by another 30 hours on average of training and feedback from experienced practitioners, all before they ever work independently with a client.
Technicians also receive a raise for formalizing their qualifications by becoming Registered Behavior Technicians – we greatly value ongoing professional development! An excellent description of what ABA sessions look like at Waypoints, written by one of our technicians, can be found at this blog post.
While technicians are the backbone of ABA services, we believe that a high level of contact with our clinical supervisors is also critical. The Behavior Analyst Certification Board (BACB) requires that at least 5% of session times be overseen by a BCBA, but at Waypoints we aim for a minimum of 10%, and in the past two months I’m proud to say that we’ve averaged over 15%.
Get in Touch!
Above all, our mission is to provide our clients with highly trained, well-supported staff in pursuit of optimal outcomes in meeting their goals. Back in February of 2022, we received preliminary accreditation by the Behavioral Health Center of Excellence (BHCOE), and are now on track to earn full accreditation in the new year – all of our support documentation was submitted yesterday, as of this writing! We’re proud and honored to be able to make our services a part of autism support in Kent County now, along with continuing to support autistic clients and their families in Ottawa County.
If it sounds like Waypoints would be a good fit for you or your loved one, I hope you’ll reach out to us at https://waypoints.life/contact-us/, or take a moment to learn more about the services we provide at https://waypoints.life/our-services/.
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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.)