STARKVILLE, Miss.--Families with children who struggle with autism and other developmental disabilities have a new resource at Mississippi State University.
MSU officials say the newly opened Autism and Developmental Disabilities Clinic represents a logical expansion of the university's School Psychology Services Center.
The center and clinic are units of the College of Education and its counseling and educational psychology department. Both are open to the public.
Director Daniel L. Gadke, a licensed psychologist, said all services are rooted in applied behavior analysis and designed to be affordable.
"We're working very hard now to get the word out around the region about our expanded services," Gadke said. "We're very excited about what the future holds as we work to benefit the residents of Mississippi and surrounding areas."
Located in the Barry F. Box Building on Morrill Road, the facility primarily serves clients with autism spectrum disorders that may range in age from birth to 22 years of age. Services also are available to others with intellectual or developmental disabilities, various genetic and chromosomal disorders, including Down Syndrome, as well as speech and language delays and disruptive behavior disorder.
The new clinic is modeled after one at Illinois State University, where Gadke received a doctoral degree in school psychology in 2012. His bachelor's and master's degrees in psychology also were completed at ISU.
Gadke, a national certified school psychologist, joined the MSU faculty during the fall semester after completing a post-doctoral residency at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and the Kennedy Krieger Institute in Baltimore, Md.
He said services offered by the MSU clinic have been designed to assist with problem behaviors such as tantrums, aggression, non-compliance and mild self-injury. Building functional life skills, social and coping skills also are among the services provided, he added.
In addition, client assistance is available in pre-academics, reading, mathematics, writing, and spelling. Supplemental services include school-based behavioral consultations and autism assessments.
MSU school psychology faculty members also will be available to help deal with certain rare genetic disorders, such as CHARGE syndrome.
Gadke said beyond serving the general public, the clinic also will be helping train students enrolled in the education college's school psychology program.
"The clinic offers a marriage of training and service, so we can train graduate students how to be practitioners," Gadke said. "This will lead to more resources in the future in the form of professionals who also will be able to provide services to families."
Additional information may be obtained by calling 662-325-2568, emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or visiting www.facebook.com/autismclinicmsstate. Gadke also is on Twitter @DrGadke. He said social media is used primarily to provide the public with information about autism, the clinic, the school psychology field and ongoing research.
For more information about Mississippi State University, see www.msstate.edu.