SPRINGFIELD, MO– Friday, July 24, 2015- Many families throughout the Springfield area who have children with Autism will tell you how much they wish their child had been diagnosed sooner. The Arc of the Ozarks is partnering with Mercy and Missouri State University in an effort to expedite the diagnostic process by opening the Mercy Autism Clinic this fall. The President of each organization, Mike Powers with The Arc, Clif Smart with Missouri State, and Alan Scarrow with Mercy met to sign the agreement to move forward on these plans on Wednesday, July 22,.
The clinic will be open two days a week to children referred by their pediatricians. The appointment will then include a comprehensive evaluation to consist of, psychological testing along with speech and occupational therapy. Missouri State’s role is to provide a functional analysis to examine their behavior and determine the child’s ability to problem solve and complete multiple activities, as well as, teach graduate students how to do an applied behavioral analysis.
The Arc will then step in to provide support and guidance from the Family Advocacy Department by helping families understand the funding and possible avenues for services throughout the area. It is likely that many children will find themselves attending the Rivendale Institute of Learning and Center for Autism, through The Arc. Rivendale provides individualized programs personalized to each child’s abilities and needs. With this alternative to public education Rivendale allows students to explore their full potential and achieve their full capabilities.
All those involved in this agreement hope to help as many families as possible throughout the Springfield area, as well as, create a sense of community in coming together to support children with autism. There is no doubt that these three organizations will make the diagnostic process significantly better and improve the lives of many.