Autism therapy center opens in Shiawassee Town Centre

Gateway Pediatric Therapy has opened an autism therapy clinic at 1484 N. M-52, inside Shiawassee Towne Centre.

OWOSSO TWP. — An autism therapy provider that works with Shiawassee Health and Wellness recently opened a clinic in Shiawassee Town Centre.

Gateway Pediatric Therapy, an autism disorder therapy clinic, is now providing services at 1484 N. M-52, with officials saying the clinic will help fill a need in the community.

“Shiawassee Health and Wellness partners with behavioral health treatment providers, such as Gateway Pediatrics, to provide high quality services to Medicaid beneficiaries in Shiawassee County,” Shiawassee Health and Wellness CEO Lindsey Hull said.

“Our hope is that our partnerships will ultimately expand the resources available to meet the needs of all citizens in our community. Gateway Pediatrics Therapy establishing a clinic in Owosso Township is a perfect example of our hopes becoming a reality. We are thrilled that they have been willing to invest in Shiawassee County.”

This is Gateway Pediatric Therapy’s 10th location in Michigan and its second in mid-Michigan, with the first in Lansing.

The 4,804-square-foot Owosso Township clinic offers customized applied behavior analysis (ABA), touted by Gateway officials as “the most effective evidence-based treatment available to target positive behavior change and skill building for individuals diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder.”

Thanks to an ongoing community partnership with Shiawassee Health and Wellness, the new clinic will be able to provide Medicaid recipients with services, helping to close a coverage gap, officials said.

The Owosso Township location features 15 private therapy rooms and, amid the COVID-19 pandemic, expanded in-home services.

“We’re really excited to be establishing a foothold within the community. We saw an opportunity to fill a significant need and we’re doing all we can to fill it,” said Rachel Enright, the Gateway vice president of clinical development and strategy who has been working directly with Shiawassee Health and Wellness.

“Throughout the pandemic, we have adopted policies and practices to keep people safe. We’re happy to talk to families about any concerns they have in this regard.”

Since last March, when the virus hit the U.S., Gateway Pediatric Therapy clinics have been working at a reduced capacity. The team has eliminated group therapy sessions, introduced telehealth services and began offering at-home services.

The Owosso Township clinic staff follow safety protocols and guidelines, increasing sanitation practices, wearing face masks and maintaining physical distance between each other and clients, officials said. Employees and clients undergo regular health screenings and temperature checks for COVID-19.

“During the course of this year, families have been faced with irregular schedules, challenges around virtual learning, forcing them to find alternative ways to continue therapy for their children with autism,” said Lisa Bingham, a board-certified behavior analyst and regional clinical director who will lead the Owosso Township clinic.

“We want to bring a sense of normalcy back to these families and make it easy to continue ABA therapy so children with autism can continue to grow.”

Gateway officials said ABA therapy, which is rooted in scientific principles of learning and behavior, is recognized as a highly effective treatment for children. The Owosso Township team includes ABA practitioners, who develop an individualized treatment plan for each child. The services seek to provide meaningful, socially significant outcomes for Gateway’s clients, officials said.

“Gateway Pediatrics … (has) demonstrated their ability to provide gold standard ABA services to children and families throughout our county,” Shiawassee Health and Wellness Chief Operating Officer Crystal Eddy said. “Shiawassee Health and Wellness is looking forward to continuing to collaborate and partner with Gateway Pediatrics to provide this very important treatment to children, youth, and young adults affected by autism.”

The new clinic is currently seeking to hire board-certified behavior analysts, board-certified assistant behavior analysts and behavior technicians.

Interested families are encouraged to contact the clinic during regular business hours at (770) 373-5822. Once the team receives the message, a client relations specialist will answer questions and arrange the next steps.

For more information on Gateway Pediatric Therapy or ABA treatment, visit gatewaypediatrictherapy.com.

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