About Dick



The Kalamazoo Center for Children with Autism and Other Special Needs


A special daycare/autism program for children with autism, developmental delays, and other special needs. This program will be coordinated withand supplement the specific training your child may already receive in the school.


Because it is so difficult to find daycare for children with special needs.  And because the Kalamazoo Autism Center, working with the Child Development Center will provide up to 40 hours of behavioral-based instruction to improve your child’s skills in daily living (such as toileting), pre-academic and academic areas, communication, play, anger management, and getting along with others.

For Whom

The daycare and supplemental behavioral-based instruction is for children with autism from 18 months to 12 years, but also for children with PDD NOS, Downs Syndrome, fetal alcohol syndrome, and other special needs. Furthermore, the Center is also for the families of those children, with the goal of providing extra time for them, so that, for example, both parents might be able to work full-time or part-time if they wished or participate more in other activities.


The Kalamazoo Autism Center started this pilot project October 27, with two children, with the possibility of expanding considerably in 2009. The day care center component will be available, from 6:30 AM to 6:00 PM, Monday through Friday, for at least 45 weeks per year and maybe all year.

The cost

The standard tuition for the daycare is $157/week ($189/week for infants); less for half-day attendance etc. This is $8,164/year in contrast to $40,000-$80,000/year that 30-40 hours/week programs usually cost. At this point, there will be no extra charge for the instruction provided by the Kalamazoo Autism Center; however, in 2009, the full combined cost of the day care and the Autism Center may raise the total cost to $15,000 to $20,000/year. (We will explore other sources of support for those who cannot afford this total cost.)


The Kalamazoo Autism Center is housed in a well-established daycare center, the Child Development Center, located at 110 West Cork St, between S Westnedge Ave and Portage Ave. As with any daycare center, you will be able to take your child to the Center and pick him or her up at your convenience.

The Curriculum

The behavioral training in our center will be coordinated with the training your child may currently be receiving in school. This should increase the speed with which he or she learns the pre-academic, academic, social, play, language, and everyday-living skills being taught at school. With this added time, we will also be able to concentrate more on extra social skills, friendship skills, fine-motor skills, toilet training, anger management, and other areas you may want help with.


I am Professor Richard Malott, a psychologist and part of the faculty of Western Michigan University’s Psychology Department’s Behavior Analysis ProgramIn 1996, I helped develop Croyden Avenue School’s Discrete-Trial Early Childhood Developmental Delay classroom. Since then, essentially all the tutors and tutor supervisors in that classroom are my practicum students, whom my grad students and I continue to train and supervise. WMU’s Psychology Department, of which we are an integral part, has an international reputation as a source of outstanding professionals working with autistic children. The staff in the Kalamazoo Autism Center will also be students from this program.

I am starting the Kalamazoo Autism Center because I think it will greatly improve the quality of life of special-needs children and their families while those children are enrolled in this Autism Center and long after they have graduated.


Please feel free to contact me by phone, email, or mail to discuss your child’s participation in our program.

Dick Malott
Richard W. Malott, PhD, BCBA
Behavior Analysis Program
Department of Psychology
Western Michigan University
Kalamazoo, MI 49008
(269) 372-1268

Download Word version of this letter

Video clip

News report on Kalamazoo Autism Center

Notes from The Kalamazoo Center for Children with Autism and Other Special Needs

Update 1 (September 12th, 2008)

Update 2 (October 5th, 2008)

Update 3 (November 6th, 2008)