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Kirksville, MO: 'There's a lot of autism in a lot of communities': MO State Senator

Oct 23, 2023, KTVO TV, Kirksville, MO: Greenwood Interprofessional Autism Center overcomes challenges to celebrate ribbon-cutting ceremony

It's been a long journey for the Greenwood Interprofessional Autism Center to make it to this moment.

Truman State University started the process of turning the old Greenwood Elementary School in Kirksville into an autism center in 2015.

After multiple setbacks, school officials finally got to cut the ribbon for the building on Saturday.

Truman State President Sue Thomas said that the ceremony was a celebration of all the hard work put in by the school and the community. " We talk about it being a roller coaster, lots of ups and downs," Thomas said. "But here's the cool thing about everybody involved in this project, nobody gave up. We all knew this was a really important vision that had to be realized. So people had grit and resilience, and lots of people stepped up to partner with us to make this a reality."

Missouri State Senator Cindy O'Laughlin (Shelbina-R) was one of the biggest supporters of the project helping to provide support from the state to help fund the autism center.

O'Laughlin says that the center will be a key resource for northern Missouri as it will shorten the drive for families looking for services for their loved ones on the autism spectrum.
"There's a lot of autism in a lot of communities here in northern Missouri," O'Laughlin said.

"A lot of children somewhere on the spectrum and there's nowhere for them to go to seek treatment. Kirksville is kind of a center of information and service for north Missouri and so this is really the ideal location for this to be."…

"We are hopeful (close), by the end of the fall," Thomas said. "It all depends upon when the building is finally finished and we can take possession of it. So we don't have an exact date yet, but we are getting very, very close.


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