For Lynn Morgan, knowing the truth about her teenage son, Colton, and having it on paper made all the difference. The former Judevine Center for Autism (now known as TouchPoint Autism Services) originally evaluated Colton at age 2½ and determined he had autism but didn’t offer a comprehensive medical diagnosis. As information about autism became more widely known, it became evident that Colton needed a more descriptive diagnosis in order to receive all available services.
Years later, when Lynn learned about the new Autism Diagnostic Team
at Ozark Center for Autism
, she decided to have her son re-evaluated. Lynn admits she felt quite nervous about this. “Colton is horribly afraid of doctors and offices. Though we desperately needed a diagnosis, I felt apprehensive about the process. When I called to make the appointment, I shared my concerns. The team was awesome! They played with him, making him feel so at ease that he didn’t even realize they were actually doctors. I never dreamed Colton would endure hours of testing,” said Lynn.
Since the diagnosis, Colton has received a wide variety of services previously unavailable to him. As one example, he gets assistance to help him maintain a gluten-free diet and medication to manage anxiety and mood swings. Diet and medication have greatly improved his quality of life.
His teachers at Diamond Middle School appreciate the diagnosis as well because it helps them better understand his form of autism and how to approach his curriculum so he can reach his full potential. As a result, his math and social skills have improved significantly. Colton also receives home visits from Ozark Center for Autism therapists who assess his progress and offer additional resources.
Lynn knows the diagnosis will serve most helpful when Colton reaches adulthood because it guarantees he’ll get the services he needs. Colton’s diagnosis also gives her peace of mind. “Everybody has to go through the storm before seeing the rainbow. I feel so much better now that we have a diagnosis. No one can say my son doesn’t have autism,” she said. “I’m so grateful to this team and the donors who made it possible,” she continued.
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931 E. 32nd St.
Joplin, MO 64804
1102 W. 32nd Street
Joplin, MO 64804