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Couple opens autism center

February 28, 2018
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Lighthouse Autism Center Portage
Courtesy Lighthouse Autism Center

An out-of-state group of outpatient autism facilities has entered the West Michigan market.

Founded and owned by Gregg Maggioli and Sandy Maggioli, who have a son with autism, Lighthouse Autism Center is leasing a 3,000-square-foot space in Portage, at 2314 Helen Ave.

The company spent $100,000 renovating the space.

The first Lighthouse center opened in Mishawaka, Indiana in 2012. The organization also operates three other centers in Indiana.

Staffing and services

Natalie Donkersloot, a board-certified behavior analyst, or BCBA, will manage the facility as a senior program manager.

The company provides year-round intensive, center-based therapy using the principles of applied behavior analysis.

The plan is to serve at least 15 children at the new location, who can each come to the center for either 40 or 20 hours per week.

The therapists are all registered behavior technicians, or RBTs, and work one-on-one with children toward goals based off an initial assessment of skills and behaviors, plus parental input.

Goals can include potty training, hand washing, matching colors and shapes, doing laundry, sorting, reading sight words out loud, getting dressed and holding conversations, according to the center.

Open house

To celebrate the opening of the new center, the Maggiolis are hosting an open house from 6-9 p.m. on March 6.

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