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Petoskey, MI: Autism therapy center expanding

Apr 8, 2023, Petoskey (MI) News-Review: Autism therapy center expands into larger, more accessible space for clients

A local treatment center for individuals with autism spectrum disorder recently moved into a new and larger space that is more accessible for their clients and offers more space for treatment.

North Arrow ABA Autism Services focuses on applied behavior analysis, a treatment that aims to improve the social and communication skills of children with autism and teach them and their families how to build on those skills throughout their life.

North Arrow serves clients as young as two up to clients in their early 20s, all with personalized treatment plans. ...

“We wanted a space that would allow us to gain more clients and also be more accessible for families who are dropping off their child,” said Macrina Cipa, director of client services. “It was just becoming a barrier at the downtown location.”...

“Now we're getting bigger and so we have a lot of opportunities for gross motor play here. At this large center we also just (from) a technician standpoint, we have some office spaces for technicians to do their note writing and also just break times for them,” Petoskey Clinical Director Emma Mitchell said.

“For clients, there's just a lot of space for them to either work one-on-one with their technician but then also lots of space for social opportunities with the other kids here.”

The space has a large central room with five cubicles for one-on-one work. The open space is full of toys and room for kids to run. Near two windows is a space for kids to gather for group activities or stories.

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, about 1 in 36 children have been identified with autism. When it comes to diagnosis and treatment, kids must be medically diagnosed in order to be referred to a treatment center.

With a shortage of primary care providers in Northern Michigan, getting a child diagnosed with autism and into treatment can be a challenge. North Arrow was founded more than two years ago with the goal of providing underserved areas with ABA services. The company now has locations in Traverse City, Petoskey, Cheboygan, Grayling and Cadillac and works to serve the surrounding areas. ...


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