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Burrell Creates Autism Diagnosis and Treatment Program


Burrell Behavioral Health announced today (Friday) the creation of a comprehensive diagnosis and treatment program for autism. The announcement coincided with Governor Matt Blunt's visit to Springfield to announce his support for increased funding for the treatment of autism. KSMU's Missy Shelton reports.

The numbers are alarming...The odds of a child being diagnosed with autism are 1 in 150...It's estimated 1 in 68 families are impacted by the neuro-developmental disorder.

Burrell Behavioral Health CEO Todd Schaible says a local program to diagnosis and treat autism is long overdue.

Burrell now has a 12-member interdisciplinary team that will provide a full-range of services to autistic individuals and their families.

Rita Shreffler knows the struggles associated with autism. She has two children with autism spectrum disorders. She's also the executive director of the National Autism Association.

She says having a program in Southwest Missouri will be a real asset.

And sometimes all that traveling can end in frustration. Burrell CEO Todd Schaible says he hopes to give parents a diagnosis and hope for the future.

Burrell's announcement came the same day Governor Matt Blunt traveled the state to announce his support for increased funding for facilities that diagnosis and treat autism. The governor is recommending Burrell's new program receive 100 thousand dollars. The governor's budget recommendations are subject to legislative approval.