Dr. Janet Farmer
Dr. Janet Farmer featured speaker for Psychology Day on MU campus
Dr. Janet Farmer, director of academic programs at the MU Thompson Center for Autism and Neurodevelopmental Disorders, and professor of health psychology and child health at the University of Missouri, was the featured speaker for Department of Psychological Sciences’ fourth annual Psychology Day on Friday, April 29, 2011 on the University of Missouri campus. Her presentation was titled Picturing Autism: A Snapshot of Brain, Behavior, and Development.
Farmer knows a lot about autism. Much of her career has revolved around enhancing access to high quality care for children with chronic health conditions and disabilities. Prior to serving as the founding director for the MU Thompson Center in 2005, Farmer directed Child Neuropsychology Services and the Division of Pediatric Psychology and Neuropsychology in the MU School of Health Professions. She also served as the clinical director of a federally funded interdisciplinary training program called Training in Interdisciplinary Partnerships and Services (TIPS) for Kids, which is the Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and Related Disabilities (LEND) training program in Missouri.
In 2008, former Missouri Governor Matt Blunt appointed Farmer to the Missouri Commission on Autism. The following year, newly elected Governor Jay Nixon reappointed her. Additionally, Farmer was one of the designated leaders of the Missouri Autism Guidelines Initiative, a collaborative effort supported by the Thompson Foundation for Autism and the Missouri Division of Developmental Disabilities. The 42 professionals and parents involved in the Initiative developed a guide titled, Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD): Missouri Best Practice Guidelines for Screening, Diagnosis, and Assessment. This document was released in April of 2010 for use by Missouri clinicians, and abridged summaries were also specifically tailored for Missouri educators, service providers and families. The Guidelines aim to help clinicians engage in effective decision-making regarding ASD identification, diagnosis, and assessment for intervention planning.
Serving as the director of academic programs at the MU Thompson Center, Farmer continues to actively develop programs aimed at improving the quality of life for children with special health care needs and their families, including initiatives that educate and train those working with and living with individuals who have ASD. She supports clinical innovations and quality improvement activities both in the Center and across the state. She also collaborates with researchers from across the MU campus and throughout the United States on research and training initiatives and she shares her extensive knowledge about autism spectrum disorders at various conferences and other events, including Psychology Day.