Great Lakes Center for Autism Treatment and Research
Residential Opportunities, Inc. of Kalamazoo (ROI) opened the doors of the new Great Lakes Center for Autism Treatment and Research. The facility and its programs are are a first of its kind in Michigan and will serve as a model for future autism treatment centers throughout the State.
For this program, ROI teamed with Western Michigan University’s renowned Department of Psychology. Professors will provide clinical and research expertise and their students will have great opportunities to learn about and help children with autism. The new Center is home to two of the Center’s three programs:
The Residential Program is the only one of its kind in Michigan. The Center will temporarily be home to up to twelve children. During their stay, doctors and staff will help them develop new skills that better prepare them for their home environment and community.
Staff at the The Heersma Outpatient Clinic provides Applied Behavior Analysis therapies, as well as occupational, physical, and speech therapies to children with autism and a variety of disabilities. Staff also provides autism assessments and work closely with each child’s pediatrician.
Kingscott helped ROI select the facility/site and then designed the project. Originally the Portage Moose Lodge, Kingscott completely remodeled the building to meet the exacting needs of the staff, patients and families, and WMU researchers. Special design features include:
- Finishes and space configuration to minimize noise levels and create a comfortingenvironment
- Colors that are calming
- Materials and furniture that ensure durability and safety
- Lighting levels that are calming, yet meet the researcher’s needs
- Observation and work areas for the researchers
- Private bedrooms in pods to allow groupings by age, gender, or behavioral challenges to maximize care and comfort
- Motor skills area for physical activity and a special education classroom
Residential Opportunities Inc. is a non-profit mental health organization that provides support services in Southwest Michigan for individuals with developmental and other disabilities.