About Us

Our Mission

To provide the highest quality evidence-based educational and social-emotional programming to diverse children with autism spectrum disorders and their families.

Our Background

The Early Learning Institute was started to meet the early intervention needs of children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) in Mid-Michigan and to provide “hands-on” training for service providers across a range of disciplines to implement evidence-based practices with children with ASD and their families. The Institute is a training site for students and trainees at all levels (undergraduate, graduate, and post doctoral) and across many human service fields including applied behavior analysis, child development, psychology, and special education. The Early Learning Institute is an interdisciplinary collaboration between the Department of Human Development and Family Studies in the College of Social Science and the Department of Counseling, Educational Psychology, and Special Education in the College of Education.


The Early Learning Institute was developed by Dr. Joshua Plavnick, a Doctoral Level Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA-D), and Laurie Linscott, M. A. and Director of the Child Development Laboratories.

The Clinical Director of the Institute is Dr. Katherine LaLonde, BCBA-D. Dr. LaLonde is an expert in developing behavioral therapy programs for children with ASD, with specific expertise in teaching early language to young children.