By Joe Hadsall
A statewide commission on autism spectrum disorders will be assembled and, by July 1 of next year, will produce a plan for Missouri to offer treatment, training and other services.
Trisha Buerge, of Joplin, said she appreciated hearing the news. She is the mother of Jaxon, a 5-year-old autistic child who receives treatment from the Ozark Center for Autism.
“I think it’s important for the commission to provide information to the Legislature,” Buerge said. “They should know what autistic kids need to grow into successful adults.”
Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder visited the Ozark Center for Autism in Joplin on Monday and signed Senate Bill 768, which calls for the commission’s creation. The commission will be made up of representatives from the General Assembly, health-related state agencies and autism-related organizations, and parents. Kinder was filling in for Gov. Matt Blunt, who is out of state.
The bill also creates the Office of Autism Services within the Department of Mental Health.
Paula Baker, chief executive of the Ozark Center, said one of every 150 children today is diagnosed with some form of autism.
The state has spent more than $15.3 million in new money on autism over the past two years. The Ozark Center on Autism was created as a result of that funding.
Tysha Van Becelaere, of Pittsburg, Kan., said her son, Xander, has benefited from the center.
“The school district wasn’t able to provide enough of the speech therapy that he needed,” Van Becelaere said. “We tried to supplement that cost with insurance, but we were denied.”
Children at the center receive applied behavioral analysis, an intensive form of one-on-one training. But the treatment is expensive: A year of treatment at the center costs about $72,000.
Baker said the center offers a sliding scale to parents based on their income. Other costs are paid for by state allocations and private gifts. But it is enough for only 13 children to be admitted into the program this year, she said.
By Joe Hadsall
- Joplin Metro
Longtime Democrat dies at 81
Sapp, 81, died Thursday. Funeral services were Monday at the First Presbyterian Church of Joplin. A longtime Jasper County Democratic committeewoman and volunteer, Sapp for years was secretary to the county’s central committee.
Nixon visits Joplin to sign breast density bill
Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon signed legislation at Freeman Hospital on Tuesday that will require radiologists in Missouri to provide information about breast density on post-mammogram reports.
Defendant draws 10 years for assault of ex-girlfriend
A Jasper County judge today sentenced a rural Joplin man to 10 years in prison for an assault on an ex-girlfriend with a walking stick that left one of her eyes detached from its socket.
Rural Joplin child dies from gunshot wound to head
A 3-year-old girl died Monday at 11:30 a.m. Monday at Freeman Health Systems after suffering a gunshot wound to the head. The incident occurred at the child's home in rural Joplin, said Sheriff Ken Copeland.
Suspect in coach's slaying posts bond
Jeffrey Bruner posted bond shortly before noon today and was released from the Jasper County Jail in Carthage.
Downtown group warns about Third Thursday mail scam
Officials with the Downtown Joplin Alliance on Friday announced that a mail scam involving Third Thursday has been discovered.
PART TWO: Joplin City Council report documents continued
As a result of a court order obtained by the Globe against the City of Joplin, and Thursday's waiving of appeal by the City Council, we have received a copy of the Thomas Loraine investigation report that led to the firing of former city manager Mark Rohr. Documents are converted for digital viewing.
The amount of documentation we received is extensive, and testimonies are continued here.
PART ONE: Joplin Globe receives copy of investigation named in court order
As a result of a court order obtained by the Globe against the City of Joplin, and Thursday's waiving of appeal by the City Council, we have received a copy of the Thomas Loraine investigation report that led to the firing of former city manager Mark Rohr. As documents are converted for digital viewing, they will be uploaded here.
In City Council race, Joplin voters elect two newcomers, three incumbents
Joplin voters rejected two incumbents who voted to fire City Manager Mark Rohr, instead electing two newcomers and returning three incumbents to the City Council who had supported Rohr.
Joplin voters reject all three charter changes
The changes were placed on the ballot by the City Council acting upon recommendations by a Charter Review Commission that met last fall.
- More Joplin Metro Headlines
- Longtime Democrat dies at 81