Step By Step’s Expert Testimony on Behalf of Michigan’s Autism Insurance Bill Provides Crucial Support Needed for Its Passing

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Step By Step’s testimony in support of the new state legislation helps to bring insurance reform to Michigan families affected by Autism Spectrum Disorder.

Step By Step, Inc.

Step By Step, Inc., a highly regarded nonprofit autism treatment center serving children, adolescents and adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and other developmental disabilities, announced today its support of the passing and implementation of Michigan’s Autism Insurance Reform bill, which took effect late last month. The passing of this bill, which Step By Step provided testimony in support of, means countless families and individuals throughout Michigan are now eligible for coverage under their private insurance plans for costs associated with diagnosis and treatment of autism spectrum disorder; Medicaid will begin to cover autism treatment therapies and expenses in January 2013.

Michele LaMarche, BCBA, executive director and Morgan Aue-VanDenBerg, BCBA, clinic director at Step By Step, a native of Michigan and a graduate of the Western Michigan University’s Board Certified Behavior Analyst program, was asked by Michigan’s Lieutenant Governor earlier this year to provide testimony in support of the bill. The new legislation makes Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA), a highly-effective evidence based therapy used in early intervention programs, more affordable and feasible for families with children affected by ASD.

“I hope that my testimony, on behalf of Step By Step, helped bring access to those in Michigan who need treatment, and I hope this will lead to the passing of similar legislation in other states,” Aue-VanDenBerg said. “There is a huge need everywhere for autism funding, treatment and services. Because of this bill’s passing, we can now help families get the treatment they deserve for their child or loved one who is diagnosed with autism.”

Step By Step, based in Worthington, Ohio, has served the greater Columbus area for more than 10 years. Its staff of trained experts and behavioral therapists have provided intensive behavior intervention using ABA therapy to hundreds of students to deliver the best possible outcomes for individuals affected by autism and other developmental disabilities.

To serve the ever-growing need within the autism population, Step By Step will be expanding its operation to bring its best practices treatment model by opening an ABA treatment facility in Michigan in 2013. Step By Step has been selectively exploring expansion opportunities for more than a year, and in partnership with Special Learning, Inc. plans to bring intensive behavior intervention services to Chicago and the Philippines within the next year.

“With the passing of the new insurance reform bill in Michigan, thousands of individuals affected by autism, who to this point have been unable to secure coverage because of financial means, may now receive the treatment they need to enhance their quality of life,” said Step By Step’s executive director, Michele LaMarche, BCBA. “As a treatment center committed to delivering outcomes driven affordable care to all individuals with ASD and other developmental disabilities, we are very excited to open a center in Michigan and provide accessible comprehensive treatment to individuals with ASD in Michigan.”

Step By Step offers a range of services designed to diagnose the nature and extent of the ASD and provide the appropriate treatment and environment across the spectrum for children, adolescents and young adults.

Step By Step currently serves children, teens and adults throughout the greater Columbus, Ohio, metro area. For more information about Step By Step, call 614-436-7837 or visit

About Step By Step, Inc.
Step By Step (SBSA) is a private, nonprofit treatment center for individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Using its Continuum of Care model, it offers a range of services designed to diagnose the nature and extent of the condition and provide the appropriate treatment and environment across the spectrum for children, adolescents and young adults. In addition to center-based programs, SBSA offers direct services to the community including assessment, intensive behavioral intervention treatment, speech, psychology and psychiatric services, as well as parent advocacy, case management, counseling, and parent and professional trainings. SBSA has several partnerships with local school districts to provide successful behavioral intervention programs directly within a school setting.

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John Solomon
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