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Autism Spectrum Disorder

Autism Spectrum Disorder is a serious developmental disability characterized by varying deficits in communication abilities and social skills, and repetitive behaviors.

The number of children diagnosed with ASD is growing rapidly, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which estimates that one in 59 children in the United States has the disability. It’s four times more common in boys and occurs in all racial, ethnic and socioeconomic groups.

Research shows early intervention can make a significant difference in a child’s healthy development. Mary Free Bed Kids offers specialized diagnostic and intervention services, including Applied Behavioral Analysis, for optimal growth.

At Mary Free Bed, we have the skills to assess a child’s potential and the loving expertise to help them realize it.

Mary Free Bed is an Approved Autism Evaluation Center (AAEC). As an AAEC, we have met criteria developed by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan and Blue Care Network, in partnership with the Michigan behavioral health care provider community, to join a network of qualified facilities to provide comprehensive, multidisciplinary assessments to make or confirm a diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder.


Mary Free Bed Kids offers services for children ages two through 19 diagnosed with ASD and other neurodevelopmental disorders.

We also provide assessments for children and adolescents with a range of behaviors that impact how they function at school and at home. After we make an accurate diagnosis and clarify levels of need, our intervention journey can begin.

Call 616.840.8807 to see if a referral from your physician is needed.


The American Academy of Pediatrics says treatment should start as soon as a child has been diagnosed. This may include various behavior and communication approaches, therapies, medication and dietary approaches.

Mary Free Bed Kids specialists will identify your child’s struggles, strengths and needs, and develop an individualized program to:

  • Increase and improve communication, social and independent living skills
  • Reduce problem behaviors
  • Provide specialized training for parents and caregivers.

There are no shortcuts in the treatment of ASD. Each individualized plan is intensive, multidisciplinary, family-focused and typically lasts for several years. When patients and families put in the work, our data shows 90 to 100 percent of treatment goals are met.

Applied Behavior Analysis

Applied Behavior Analysis offers safe and effective treatments for ASD, according to the National Institute for Mental Health. ABA is an intensive, scientific model of care that uses reinforcement and other specialized interventions to build necessary skills and reduce or eliminate problem behaviors.

At Mary Free Bed Kids, we:

  • Begin with a thorough functional behavior assessment to measure behaviors and clarify need.
  • Develop an individualized ABA program with specific goals that provide structure and direction. Our program helps patients strengthen:
    -Communication skills
    -Social skills
    -Self-help skills
    -Academic performance
    -Coping skills
    -Gather data to measure your child’s progress.
    -Require parents or caregivers to be actively involved, learn and implement effective strategies to reinforce behaviors at home.

Other Services

In addition to Autism Spectrum Disorders, Mary Free Bed Kids treats children with a wide range of neurodevelopmental disorders and pediatric behavioral difficulties, including:

  • Intellectual disabilities
  • Communication, learning and motor disorders
  • Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder
  • Mental health disorders (anxiety, depression, impulse-control, obsessive-compulsive, trauma)

Depending on the child’s individual needs, treatment may include:

  • Applied Behavior Analysis
  • Psychotherapy
  • Parent behavioral training
  • Various therapies and other interventions.

Your Team

The strength of our program lies in the expertise of our team. It’s led by Dr. Gregory Worthington, one of a limited number of doctorate-level clinical psychologists who is a board-certified behavior analyst. Dr. Worthington has more than two decades of experience diagnosing and treating a wide variety of neurodevelopmental and pediatric behavioral disorders.

Dr. Worthington directs each patient’s care and the coordinated efforts of our specially trained team, including:

  • Emily White, LMSW, a board-certified behavior analyst, who specializes in utilizing behavioral interventions such as functional behavior assessments, parent training and behavioral therapy to address autism, ADHD, anxiety, depression and OCD.
  • Psychologists
  • Behavior technicians
  • Physical, occupational and recreational therapists
  • Speech-language pathologists
  • Registered dietitian
  • Care manager


Mary Free Bed Kids – Autism Spectrum Disorder Program
1550 Three Mile Road NW
Grand Rapids, MI 49544
Phone: 616.840.8807
Fax: 616.840.9684

Mary Free Bed Kids – Autism Spectrum Disorder Program
Munson Community Health Center
550 Munson Ave.
Traverse City, MI 49686
Phone: 616.840.8807
Fax: 616.840.9684