Industry enables opportunity through Mississippi State autism clinic

Contact: Addie Mayfield

STARKVILLE, Miss.—Steel Dynamics Foundation, headquartered in Fort Wayne, Indiana, has committed $50,000 to support Mississippi State’s Autism and Developmental Disabilities Clinic (ADDC) in the College of Education.

Located in MSU’s Barry F. Box Building on Morrill Road, the university’s ADDC primarily assists clients with autism spectrum disorders. Services also are available to those with intellectual or developmental disabilities, various genetic and chromosomal disorders, including Down Syndrome, as well as speech and language delays and disruptive behavior disorder.

Since opening in March 2014, the ADDC has served as the flagship clinic of the university’s School Psychology Services Center. Additionally, a partnership between the clinic and MSU’s Disabilities Support Services provides the Autism Liaison program, a service for degree-seeking MSU students with autism.

ADDC clients range from children to adults who also may benefit from center assistance in pre-academics, reading, mathematics, writing and spelling. While delivering high quality service to the community, the ADDC also facilitates meaningful field-based research to enhance treatments and offers effective hands-on training experiences for School Psychology graduate students who provide intervention and assessment services under clinic faculty supervision.

“There is a severe shortage of clinical services in Mississippi,” said Dan Gadke, a licensed psychologist and ADDC director. The ADDC is one of the only places offering comprehensive psychological, behavioral, social, emotional and academic services across the state.

“As we fold our services into training models for current school psychology students, we are essentially preparing future practitioners, many of whom will stay and practice in Mississippi beyond graduation,” Gadke said.

The ADDC is currently providing individual weekly services to approximately 90 constituents, 25 of whom are MSU students, while also assisting five social skill groups from ages pre-K through young adult. Beyond Mississippi, seven other states are represented by the clinic’s current clients. Having assisted nearly 300 people since its establishment three years ago, the ADDC continues efforts to reach the growing number of individuals on its waitlist.

“It is because of the investments from patrons like Steel Dynamics that we are able to keep doing the good work we do,” said Gadke. “Their support is resonating through the lives of more children and family members than they could possibly imagine. Every contribution, every piece of support keeps our doors open and gives families a place to turn for help where there typically would not be any.”

Operating six steel mills, including one in Columbus, as well as numerous steel coating, metals recycling and fabrication facilities in the eastern United States, Steel Dynamics, Inc. (SDI) is the fourth largest producer of carbon steel in the country. The $50,000 grant joins Steel Dynamics’ previous giving to MSU, which has assisted multiple areas including Bulldog athletics, the EcoCar project in the Bagley College of Engineering, and the university’s Career Center.

For more information on how to contribute to the ADDC, contact Trish Cunetto, director of development for the College of Education, at 662-325-6762 or at Additional information is available on the clinic’s website at

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