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Life Skills Autism Academy – Kimberly Gorham

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Life Skills Autism Academy is a highly-specialized, center-based treatment program designed to provide the best developmental experience possible for children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD).

As leading experts in the field of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA), the academy’s highly-trained clinicians develop individualized, one-on-one programs that help children break down routine tasks into manageable steps. This type of therapy helps children with autism improve communication ability, daily living skills and the social behaviors necessary to thrive in school, at home and in their community.

Life Skills Autism Academy has rooted their entire program in evidence that early intensive intervention leads to the greatest potential reached by children on the autism spectrum. For this reason, Life Skills Autism Academy asks families to make a commitment to the program and therapy.

Research indicates that children who receive intensive early treatment services are more likely to have improved long-term outcomes, but the first step to treatment is diagnosis. In fact, some findings report that the impact of early interventions can be so great that, in some cases, a child with autism who receives therapy as a baby may no longer exhibit signs of the disorder by age 3 (Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 9/14). The results of this type of research provide a path forward for families that have children diagnosed with autism.

Upon diagnosis, Life Skills Autism Academy assembles a team of Board-Certified Behavior Analysts, Behavior Technicians and Client Service Managers around each individual child based on their specific abilities and challenges. This team works together to build and apply programs that help each child successfully navigate everyday tasks, from brushing their teeth to sitting through a meal.

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Tell Us Your Story and How You Got Started with Life Skills Autism Academy

Life Skills Autism Academy is a Centria Healthcare Company. Centria Healthcare was founded in 2009 as a provider of Pediatric Nursing and Catastrophic Injury Care. One of Centria’s early pediatric patients required ABA Therapy. Centria rose to the occasion, with the beginning of the Autism Services branch of Centria Healthcare in 2010. Centria Autism has become a leading provider of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) Therapy to children with autism in the country.

After just five years, Centria Autism grew to be the largest ABA Therapy provider in Michigan. Centria Healthcare has since expanded its services to Arizona, California, Indiana, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oregon, Texas and Washington.

Today, Centria Autism employs nearly 3,500 full and part-time passionate professionals. Centria Healthcare will continue to improve their efforts through community outreach, continued education and employment growth, Centria strives to serve more children living with Autism.

The standard-setting care provided by Centria Autism is validated by industry accreditation from The Joint Commission (JCAHO) and the Behavior Health Centers of Excellence (BHCOE). (Centria Healthcare is BHCOE accredited in Michigan, New Mexico and Texas. These states were awarded a 1-year accreditation by the BHCOE.)

Our mission is to help every child living with autism to develop, pursue and achieve their own goals and dreams through high-quality ABA Therapy and support. Through community outreach, continued education and employment growth, Centria strives to serve more children living with Autism.

If Someone Was Considering Your Autism Skills Services, What Would You Want Them to Know?

Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) Therapy is an evidence-based therapy in which behavior modifications are consistently applied and rewarded to make a meaningful change in overall behavior.

During ABA Therapy, skills are broken down into small, easy-to-learn steps. Positive reinforcement is used to motivate the child, and data is continuously collected to measure the child’s progress and modify their personalized treatment plan. ABA Therapy is the single most effective treatment for children with ASD and the only treatment shown to lead to substantial, lasting improvements in the lives of children with autism. Over 1,000 peer-reviewed, scientific autism articles describe ABA Therapy successes, leading to the National Institute of Health and the Association for Science in Autism Treatment to endorse the method, along with the U.S. Surgeon General.

Put simply, ABA Therapy breaks everyday processes and situations into small, easy-to-understand steps. Those steps are learned, repeated and rewarded until they become an unaided behavior. During therapy, your child will be engaged in fun, developmentally appropriate learning activities with a behavior technician under the supervision of a Board Certified Behavior Analyst.

Life Skills Academy’s Therapists are trained to provide an individualized program for your child based on his/her specific needs. This one-on-one approach lets your child and therapist build an incredible connection, helping them to reach their maximum potential.


Special Strong provides fitness and nutrition for special needs children, adolescents, and adults with autism and other disabilities. Through our online training platform, we also provide special needs fitness certification courses for personal trainers and service providers who want to work autism and other disabilities.

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