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What to Expect

Heartland Center for Autism is the first facility of its kind to provide intensive residential short term treatment to youth with intellectaul disabilites.

What to expect: Step by Step

Heartland Center for Autism has outlined specific service goals, which are aimed at improving the overall quality of life for the children we serve. These goals include:

Increasing Functional Communication Skills:

Helping children effectively express their thoughts, needs, and desires.

Learning to Wait:

Teaching patience and the ability to delay gratification.

Accepting “No”:

Assisting children in understanding and accepting limits and boundaries.

Participating in a Group:

Encouraging social interaction and cooperation with peers.


Decreasing Challenging Behavior:

Using ABA techniques to reduce problem behaviors that can impede learning and socialization.

Building Self-Care and Adaptive Living Skills:

Equipping children with essential life skills required for daily living.

Improving Social Skills:

Enhancing the ability to engage in positive social interactions with others.

What does a day in the treatment program at Heartland Center for Autism look like?

Our environmental design is not the only thing that makes us an optimal treatment center for children with Autism and/or developmental disabilities. We provide a safe environment where we can focus on ensuring that each of our residents gets the unique and appropriate attention for the their specific challenges.

Our programs focus on behavioral supports that are proven to encourage successful outcomes for individuals with developmental disabilities and mental health concerns. And unlike the group-based supports that are seen elsewhere, we provide a highly individualized treatment program that reflects the needs of each resident.

Families and outpatient providers may schedule visitation at times that are convenient for them, thus providing more flexibility for visitors and less stimulation on the unit at one time.

Intake Process

An assessment is conducted and individualized Behavior Intervention Plan as well as overall treatment plan is designed. We utilize the principles and strategies of ABA to teach critical skills to cope with stress, functionally communicate and reduce the rate and intensity of maladaptive behavior. We pride ourselves on providing families/caregivers the tools through parent training to assist their children to continue to thrive within the family unit post discharge from Heartland Center for Autism.

Clinical Profile, Age, Length of stay

  • Moderate to High functioning youth that have an Autism diagnosis and/or developmental disability
  • Ages 6-17.
  • 14-28 days. May extend beyond 28 days if clincial necessecity is established.
  • 7 Bed facility located in Grand Rapids, MI
  • Up to 90 days via the adoption medical subsidy

Screening and Intake (ABA Discovery Process)

  • Assessment is completed during intake to gain an understanding of the current level of
    functioning, history of maladaptive behavior, overall strengths, and weakness.

  • BCBA will collaborate with any existing providers to understand the treatment history.
  • BCBA will collaborate with existing school team to review any existing IEP goals, and Behavior Intervention Plans.
  • Review any existingBehavior Intervention Plans and existing ABA programing in place, incorporate as needed.
  • Design individualized Behavior Intervention Plans to target the reduction of maladaptive behavior.
  • Design skill acquisition treatment plans to teach coping strategies, social emotional growth, social interaction, daily living, and self-help skills.