Lt. Gov. Calley: Michigan autism progress includes top 10 ranking for certified behavior analysts

State Plan highlights autism successes since 2012, future needs

Thursday, Nov. 29, 2018

LANSING, Mich. – Michigan has gone from 33rd to 10th in the nation for the number of certified behavior analysts and has made great strides in supporting autism services since 2012, Lt. Gov. Brian Calley announced today.

“ABA therapy is often life changing for a child with autism, greatly helping them develop the skills and confidence needed to live a self-determined independent life,” Calley said. “I’m so proud that we are now 10th in the nation for the number of certified behavior analysts and have 10 universities with behavior analyst degree programs. All of this work is making a difference and I look forward to seeing this progress continue.”

There are now 873 behavior analysts certified in Michigan, up from 118 analysts in 2012. The improvements are highlighted in the Michigan Autism Council’s Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) State Plan 2018 Progress and Recommendations Report, issued today by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS). The report highlights the successes and future needs related to autism in Michigan.

Achievements also include:

  • Ten Michigan universities now have behavior analyst degree programs
  • Behavior analyst licensure legislation passed in Michigan (Dec. 2016)
  • ABA services for Medicaid beneficiaries expanded to cover birth through 20 years old (Jan. 2016)
  • ABA services for Medicaid beneficiaries covered for 18 months through five years old (April 2013)
  • Passage of autism insurance reform (April 2012)
  • Creation of the Autism Council (July 2012)

“While impressive changes have occurred in the past several years, Michigan is diverse in its geography and population, and improvements in state systems and services need to be made more consistent throughout the state,” said Amy Matthews, Vice-Chairperson of the Michigan Autism Council. “The Autism Council is eager to continue the progress that has been made so far to improve the lives of Michigan families and this report provides a wonderful blueprint for doing so in the years to come.”

Recommendations in the progress report are provided across six areas:

  • Family engagement and involvement
  • Early identification and early intervention services
  • Educational supports and services
  • Adult services and supports
  • Physical, mental, and behavioral health
  • Infrastructure to meet focus area goals and recommendations.

“The State of Michigan is fortunate to have the support of the Michigan Autism Council in leading the way forward on this important issue,” said Lisa Grost, Manager of the Autism Section within MDHHS. “Michigan families have greatly benefited from the commitment and dedication of the Michigan Autism Council and this report is another vital step in keeping that momentum going.”

The Michigan ASD State Plan 2018 Progress Review and Recommendations can be viewed in its entirety at


Related Documents
Michigan Autism Spectrum Disorder State Plan PDF icon
Michigan Autism Spectrum Disorder State Plan infographic PDF icon