Michigan State University’s Early Learning Institute raises bar for autism education

East Lansing, Mich. — The Child Development Laboratories at the Michigan State University came up with the Early Learning Institute in hopes of bridging the gap between therapy and education for children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD).

What separates the institute from conventional autism centers, is the fact that while most children with ASD only undergo Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) therapy for a few hours per day, behavior technicians at the Early Learning Institute teach the children using ABA techniques from the start of the class— until the time they are picked up from school.

The institute’s clinical director, Kate LaLonde, said:

“Research shows applied behavior analysis is one of the best treatments for people on the autism spectrum.”

Parents caring for the children with autism are also given information about how they can continue the children’s ABA therapies at home to help maintain consistency.

The institute was designed to help the children improve both their learning and social skills through constant activities and monitoring. Around six children aged three to four years old are currently enrolled at the Early Learning Institute, and about 12 behavior technicians are there to teach them.

The program was created with the help of MSU alumni Mike and Kathy Bosco, who donated $50,000 to help assist programs at the university for children with autism.

Source: Chron.com: New Michigan State program raises bar for autism education