NOVI, MICHIGAN – 09-28-2018 — Centria Autism Services, the nation’s leading provider of therapy based on the principles of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) to children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and their families, has committed to endowing $5 million over the next five years to advance research on evidence-based practices to help children with ASD achieve optimal outcomes. The goal is to identify the critical success factors that can improve the nature of assessment, treatment plan design and implementation and clinical fidelity of ABA.
This program aims to provide data-driven insights that will reduce variation in the quality of care and improve the likelihood of optimal outcomes for every child with ASD. This will also help reduce the current standard deviation that is associated with ABA outcomes.“The last 15 years has seen the emergence and growth of an ‘Autism Care System’ that has evolved from the national wave of state-level legislative insurance reform mandating access to ABA for children with ASD and their families,” noted Steven Merahn, MD FAAP, Centria Chief Medical Officer. “While the social policy foundation of these autism benefit programs is based on the proven value of behavior analytic interventions to have positive effects on a child’s behavior, relationships, developmental progress, and family stability, there are not a lot of measures associated with the quality of care nor the expected outcomes and value of this system of care.”Simply providing access to ABA is not enough. Achieving the social goals of the Autism Care System requires standards as to the adequacy of treatment being offered, and there needs to be a better understanding of the variables that can both positively, and adversely, affect outcomes. Variables that are both specific to behavior analysis and more general to the health status and sociodemographic profile of the child.“We are committed to all children with ASD having the best developmental experience possible and providing an opportunity for them to acquire the skills to live independently and succeed in the world on their own terms,” noted Scott Barry, Centria, CEO. “Early experience shapes the person that emerges from childhood, and in the era of big data and powerful analytics, we want to do everything we can to assure that every child – regardless of who delivers their care – achieves optimal outcomes.”Centria will begin to identify an outside administrator for this grant program and recruit a professionally diverse group of advisors in wide range domains of childhood and developmental science. This group will establish the research agenda, circulate requests for proposals to the academic community and advise on how the funds be distributed.About Centria Autism Services:
Centria Autism Services is an operating division of Centria Healthcare and a leading national provider of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) therapy for children with autism and their families. With national headquarters in Michigan, and more than 2,000 clinical staff working in ten states, Centria’s Optimal Outcomes approach combines child-centered evidence-based ABA with best practices to help children with ASD have the best developmental experience possible and acquire the skills to live independently and succeed in the world on their own terms.
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