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Columbia, MO: New center to meet demand; 2,000 on waitlist for ASD testing

April 25, 2024, Columbia MO, News-Press Now: New Thompson Center for Autism and Neurodevelopment could help with increased demand for testing

A groundbreaking ceremony was held Thursday for a new location for the Thompson Center for Autism and Neurodevelopment, which is expected to help with an increased demand in testing.  . . .

According to Thompson Center Executive Director Connie Brooks, there are 2,000 children currently on a waitlist for a diagnostic evaluation at the center.

Brooks said that list includes children waiting for a diagnostic evaluation, which can include evaluations for ADHD and learning disabilities. Brooks said it's hard to know for sure how to cut the current waitlist down because most families put their children on multiple waitlists. However, she said the expansion can only help. . . .

The development of the center will allow it to expand its severe behavior clinic, add additional clinicians and increase the amount of research and training done.

Brooks said a stay treatment program will also be offered at the new center that will help children who have behavioral problems from needing to be hospitalized.

Chris Moss is the father to Asa, a 10-year-old boy who was diagnosed with autism in 2018. Moss said he and his family began utilizing the Thompson Center in 2020. Since then, Moss said his son has only improved. He believes Asa's improvement is because of the accessible resources offered through the Thompson Center. . . .

According to the Centers for Disease Control, 1 in 41, or 2.5% of 8-year-old children were diagnosed with autism in 2020. 4-year-old boys are also 2.6X more likely that girls to be diagnosed with autism and 75% of 4-year-olds receive a comprehensive developmental evaluation by the age of three. . . . 

Moss said he believes the effects of autism are far reaching.\

"Autism touches everyone...whether it's personal or whether it's just a few fingertips away," Moss said.


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