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University of Missouri

Autism Center Broadens Reach

Executive director meets with health professionals across the state.

Stephen Kanne

Stephen Kanne returned to the Thompson Center in September 2012 as executive director. Photo by Nicholas Benner.

A national leader in research and clinical treatment, MU’s Thompson Center for Autism and Neurodevelopmental Disorders in 2013 broadened its training of autism professionals in Missouri. The training emphasis is largely due to the leadership of Stephen Kanne, the center’s executive director since September 2012.

During Autism Awareness Month in March, Kanne, a former Thompson Center neuropsychologist, traveled across the state and to Texas conducting training sessions for medical and other health professionals. “Leveraging the expertise of the Thompson Center professionals through training others across the state will contribute to the ability to diagnose and treat more individuals,” Kanne says. Aiding the training is the 2012 publication of the second edition of Autism Spectrum Disorders: Guide to Evidence-based Interventions. The best practices manual is sponsored by the Thompson Center, Mercy Hospital in St. Louis and Springfield, Mo., and other state health groups.