Columbia’s Thompson Center for Autism is now known as the Thompson Center for Autism and Neurodevelopment at the University of Missouri.
The UM Board of Curators approved the name change, which pleases Thompson Center executive director Dr. Stephen Sheinkopf.
“Well that means that we want to emphasize that not only are we serving individuals with a formal diagnosis of autism, but also neurodiversity in general in helping support people, adults and children, who have challenges in broad areas of development,” Dr. Sheinkopf says.
Dr. Sheinkopf tells 939 the Eagle that the center serves about 4,500 unique individuals each year. The center’s mission is to improve the lives of individuals and families impacted by autism spectrum disorder and neurodevelopmental disorders.
It’s an exciting time for Dr. Sheinkopf, who tells 939 the Eagle that the project is expanding the scope of what the center is doing now.
“Well really in terms of our three pillars of our activities. Clinical service for patients and families that we serve. Training the next generation of clinicians and clinical scientists, and also pursuing research to help identify causes, treatments and supports for people with differences in neurodevelopment,” says Dr. Sheinkopf.
The UM Board of Curators approved the project. The $55-million project is being funded by a $27.5-million state appropriation, $15-million in gifts and $12.5 million in university funds.
“The new building will consolidate our services and allow for groups of people who work day-to-day to be really adjacent and embedded with each other. It’s going to really foster a collaboration in the service of the work we do,” Dr. Sheinkopf says.
The Thompson Center opened in 2005. He says the new facility will provide about 74,000 square feet of space to house all aspects of the center under one roof. He also says the facility receives 14,000 patient visits each year.