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Michigan ranked tenth in the country for autism behavior analysis

Flickr | Filip Perski

After insurance reforms, Medicaid expansion, and outreach, Michigan's services for those with autism have increased exponentially. Now, the state's autism behvaior analysis services are in the top ten for the country.

Michigan is making major strides in efforts to expand resources for people with autism. A new report from the Lieutenant Governor’s office says Michigan is ranked tenth in the country for autism behavior analysis services. That’s a big jump from 33rd in 2012.

Lieutenant Governor Brian Calley says Michigan has done well when it comes to expanding resources for those with autism.

“Back in 2012 when autism insurance reform first passed, there were only about 120 or so professionals in the entire state that provided autism services,” he said “Now, we’re a top ten state on board certified behavior analysts, and still growing.”

In recent years, Michigan has made the expansion of autism services a state priority by passing insurance reforms mandating coverage of autism related services and expanding Medicaid.

Calley’s daughter has autism, and he says after seeing how profound the effects of behavior analysis were on her, he knew he wanted to make the service available to more people across the state.

“When we had that type of professional help, it allowed my daughter to really start thriving, to grow, to learn, and to be a part of things,” he said, “When I saw what a big difference that it made, I just wanted it to be available for everybody.”

Calley says the combined efforts of families, professionals, and schools can help those with autism gain the skills they need to live an independent life.