Autism Spectrum Disorder Specialist Lebanon MO

Although the cause or causes for autism remain elusive, we do know what autism is not. It is not a mental illness nor is it a behavioral problem of unruly kids, and it does not have a clear-cut, direct genetic link.

Family Support and Respite Coalition of Missouri
(314) 569-0247
1816 Lackland Hill Parkway
Saint Louis, MO
Support Services
Respite/Childcare/Babysitting

Data Provided by:
Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
(573) 751-4426
P.O. Box 480
Jefferson City, MO
Support Services
Government/State Agency

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Kemper Communication
(816) 665-8312
1121 NE Columbus
Lees Summit, MO
Support Services
Early Intervention, Social Skills Training, Speech Therapy
Ages Supported
1-5 Grade,11-12 Grade,6-8 Grade,9-10 Grade,Adult,Kindergarten,Preschool

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Busy Bodies Gymnastics
(314) 843-3322
12975 Maurer Industrial Drive
St. Louis, MO
Support Services
Other
Ages Supported
Preschool,Kindergarten,1-5 Grade,6-8 Grade,9-10 Grade,11-12 Grade

Data Provided by:
Epilepsy Foundation of the St. Louis Region
(314) 645-6969 or (800) 264-6970
7100 Oakland Avenue
St. Louis, MO
Support Services
Disability Advocacy, Support Organization

Data Provided by:
Bethany Klug, D.O.
(800) 627-4360
4321 Washington #2020
Kansas City, MO
Support Services
Biomedical Intervention

Data Provided by:
North County St. Louis Inclusive Recreation
(314) 839-5575
Civic Center East, 8969 Dunn Road
Hazelwood, MO
Support Services
Other, Summer Camp/ESY

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UMKC Institute for Human Development (UAP) AUCD
(816) 235-1770
2220 Holmes Third Floor
Kansas City, MO
Support Services
Disability Advocacy, Support Organization

Data Provided by:
Missouri Congress of Parents and Teachers
(573) 474-8631
2101 Burlington Street
Columbia, MO
Support Services
Other

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Camp Barnabas
417-886-9800 (Springfield office), 417-476-2565 (C
Route 2, Box 131
Purdy, MO
Support Services
Summer Camp/ESY

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Healing the Many Faces of Autism

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By Sheldon Lewis & Linda Sparrowe

Nicky’s daycare teacher Elise brought it to Kara’s attention first. “Your son’s not really interacting with the other kids,” she told her. Every day when he comes in two-and-a-half-year-old Nicky must walk a particular path in the exact same way before he can acknowledge anyone in the room, Elise said. He carefully lines up all his toys, always in the same manner, but he never plays with them. He doesn’t look at anyone else, but even the slightest noise or a gentle touch can immediately cause him to scream in terror. Doctors soon confirmed what Elise and Kara expected: Nicky was autistic. Their recommendations: speech and occupational therapy, but beyond that, they cautioned, there wasn’t much anyone could do.

Kara immediately began learning all she could about autism and discovered that there were, indeed, plenty of avenues to explore and approaches to try. They ran the gamut from changing Nicky’s diet to using behavioral modification techniques, from giving him weekly massages and high doses of vitamins to introducing him to martial arts. “What I did discover,” Kara said, “was that not every therapy works for every kid. And a combination seems to work the best.”

More than one disorder
The problem, of course, is that autism isn’t any one thing, nor does everyone exhibit the same characteristics of the condition. First discovered in 1943 by Leo Kanner, a physician at Johns Hopkins Hospital, autism is a developmental disability that typically manifests within the first three years of a child’s life. Four times more likely to affect boys than girls, autism’s symptoms include the inability to communicate with and relate to people, unusual or very limited interests, severe gastrointestinal problems, and hypersensitivity to any of the senses. Sometimes autistic children will also exhibit self-destructive behavior.

Around the same time that Kanner discovered autism, a German scientist, Dr. Hans Asperger, identified what he called an “autistic” condition, which later became known as “Asperger’s syndrome.” People with Asperger’s tend to be highly intelligent and very verbal—the opposite of those with “classic autism” who are often nonverbal and socially isolated—and may have a compulsive interest in, and encyclopedic knowledge about, a specific topic or special interest.

Today both conditions are classified as Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD), a header that includes Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) or atypical autism, Rett Syndrome, Childhood Disintegrative Disorder (CDD), and some say Attention Deficit Disorder and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADD/ADHD) as well.

And the cause is?
Although the cause or causes remain elusive, we do know what autism is not. It is not a mental illness nor is it a behavioral problem of unruly kids, and it does not have a clear-cut, direct genetic link.

In 1964, Bernard Rimland, a psychologist and father of a son with autism, wrote a book, Infantile Autism...

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