Thompson Center expands to meet the needs of kids with autism

2 weeks 3 days 14 hours ago Friday, September 08 2017 Sep 8, 2017 Friday, September 08, 2017 7:25:00 PM CDT September 08, 2017 in News
By: Kyrah Davis, KOMU 8 Reporter

COLUMBIA - A ribbon cutting ceremony on Friday marked the grand opening of the Thompson Center's new research and training facility in Columbia. 

The expansion is supposed to further the agenda of aiding kids with autism and their families. Kristin Sohl spearheads ECHO: Extension for Community Healthcare Outcomes. She said the goal of the program is to eliminate wait lists for patients with autism. 

"It can take up to a year, if not longer, to get an answer," she said. "To figure out first if he has autism and not even what happens next." 

Sohl said the expansion will help by moving information instead of moving the patient. She leads a team of experts that mentors community pediatricians throughout Missouri twice a month.  

"I'm not trying to create mini-specialists," Sohl said. "I'm trying to create an extension of the Thompson Center." 

She said this affects more than just Columbia. 

"It's empowering small towns all across Missouri," she said. 

MU Chancellor Alexander Cartwright said this expansion will help the empowerment continue. 

"I think the expansion will be of immense importance to the families who are impacted," he said. 

The grand opening included tours and presentations for the Columbia community. 

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