Diagnosis is Key to Helping Boy With Autism Thrive

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MU Health Care pediatrician Kristin Sohl, MD, has devoted much of her career to understanding kids with autism and sharing what she’s learned with the widest possible audience.

“Kids with autism are awesome just the way they are,” Sohl said. “There’s nothing broken about them. There’s nothing wrong with them. There are just some simple accommodations or tips that can help them thrive. A diagnosis is the key to helping unlock those opportunities.”

Dominic Jackson is a great example of that. He is a 4-year-old boy from Columbia with a big smile and a love of toy cars, which he brings with him wherever he goes. His grandmother Catherine Miller calls him a “fabulous joy of a child.” But when Dominic wasn’t saying words by age 3 and was having a lot of tantrums that stemmed from his inability to communicate, she encouraged her son, Kenneth Jackson, to get him evaluated for autism.

“Sometimes people are hesitant to get a diagnosis, because they don’t want their kid to be labeled, but they don’t realize that if you get a diagnosis, that can often open more doors for help,” Miller said. “A diagnosis is the key that starts many engines.”

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Kent Faddis
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