Monday, June 20, 2011

Ozark Center for Autism Plans to Rebuild After Joplin Tornado

JOPLIN, Mo. -- Families whose children get some of the best autism services available are scrambling for help after a prominent treatment facility was destroyed in the tornado that ravaged the city of Joplin last month.
The Ozark Center for Autism, which has a national reputation and draws families to the area, offers hands-on, intensive therapy at an early age. The program had recently added a diagnostic team and was slated to expand with services for adults, including vocational training. But the May 22 tornado that pummeled the city, killing more than 150 people and injuring hundreds, demolished the center.
It has relocated to an indoor skate park on the outskirts of town until it can move to another temporary facility closer to its previous location. But fewer families can easily reach the current location, and while Ozark Center staff members have increased their number of home visits, they are concerned that some children could see their progress halted.

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