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Research study leads to “blitz” of 48 diagnostic appointments

COLUMBIA, MO (May 31, 2016) — Staying on the cutting edge of research is one of our values, and in December, the Thompson Center launched a new research project testing a video screening tool, Cognoa, in an effort to reduce waitlist times for families referred to the Thompson Center.

As part of this effort, the Thompson Center’s autism diagnostic providers completed a pilot “blitz week” for four days April 25 through 28, during which the regular clinic schedules were rearranged to accommodate 48 diagnostic visits in four days. In a typical week, only eight autism diagnostic appointments are available.

Families participating in a blitz week appointment also agreed to test the Cognoa technology. Cognoa is an online screening tool that allows parents to upload videos of their children using an iPhone or Android smartphone. Upon analysis of the video by Thompson Center staff, parents will receive a personalized estimate of their child’s risk for autism and developmental delay. Using Cognoa’s mobile app, parents can find peace of mind knowing that they’re taking active steps to support their child’s development, according to Cognoa’s website.

The video screening tool is not meant to replace an in-person evaluation, but rather to fast-track the screening process for children at high risk for developmental delay and match families with the correct services quickly and more efficiently.

“Sometimes it’s very hard to verbally explain what you’re seeing in your child, and this app allows parents to videotape what they’re seeing, which is very impactful for us to see,” said Clinical Services Manager Krista Hughes. “It provides us with a better idea of the child’s development path – pictures speak louder than words.”