Making a difference in the lives of people at the Thompson Center for Autism & Neurodevelopment at the University of Missouri

Seeking Clarity, Waiting for Answers

One family shares their experience on the Thompson Center’s waitlist.

The Thompson Center provides excellent care for children affected by autism and neurodevelopment disorders. Due to the high demand for the Center’s services, families can spend a long time waiting for a diagnosis. In this new video, the Crabtree Family shares about their waitlist experience and what the Thompson Center means to them.

Renovations are underway at the Thompson Center! Expanding our physical space will allow us to add providers, which will give families faster access to care. You can support our efforts by making a gift today.

Transcript of video:

Magen Crabtree:
Samuel is seven, and from the beginning, he has been his own person. He was diagnosed when he was three years old.

It’s hard. It’s awesome too. That dude is hilarious.

Alexander will be 10 next month. He’s been on the waitlist for a long time, and the pandemic, I know slowed it down, but I think it was originally at a year and a half, and then it’s just kind of been extended once everything’s shut down.

There’s so much unknown with little kids when they’re not developing typically. A lot of times you kind of second guess yourself, like why am I having this struggle with this child?

Dr. Tracy Stroud:
Families are waiting to get answers to questions that seem like they could or should be answered much more quickly. We’re trying to help them through that time period in accessing services and resources while they’re waiting. Then once their child has that evaluation done, and to get some clarity as far as what’s going on at this developmental age for their child and to give them some direction moving forward.

Magen Crabtree:
It really is nice to have an explanation. It doesn’t change who he is, but it answers so many questions, opens the door to solutions.

There are so many resources. Dr. Stroud always has ideas for something or she’ll send somebody else in.

Dr. Tracy Stroud:
People who contribute to the Thompson Center are helping families. They’re helping families directly, so we’re able to hire more people to decrease that waitlist, to provide ABA services, to develop that program and to be able to provide those therapy supports that these children need.

Magen Crabtree:
This place is amazing and any donations, I know they help a lot of families in this area.

Dr. Tracy Stroud:
Being able to provide care for families, it has been a blessing, a joy. I tell so many people that I’m just inspired daily by the families that I get to hear and be a part of their story. It’s a valuable mission.

1733 968 Thompson Foundation for Autism & Neurodevelopment

Myles Hinkel

Executive Director

Myles Hinkel began as Executive Director in June 2020. Myles leads the foundation’s three-pillar mission; fundraising, awareness, and advancing public policy. Prior to this, Myles was Director of Advancement for Gift Planning & Regional covering the West Coast for The University of Missouri. This was Myles’ second time with MU Advancement. He previously worked in the College of Arts & Science before taking advancement positions at Columbia College and the Missouri United Methodist Foundation. Myles, his wife Lora, and their two boys have been involved in the Thompson Center and the Thompson Foundation since their inceptions.

Katie Lentz

Director of Donor Relations

Katie Lentz oversees donor stewardship and marketing for the Thompson Foundation for Autism & Neurodevelopment. Prior to joining the Thompson Foundation in 2020, she worked for Major League Baseball’s nonprofit, the Baseball Assistance Team. Originally from Quincy, Illinois, Katie is a graduate of Tulane University and has lived in Louisiana, Florida, New York, and now Missouri. In her free time, she enjoys hiking, singing, and playing violin.

Melissa Eston

Office Manager

Melissa Eston began her role as Office Manager in August of 2022. In her role, Melissa receives and processes donations, assists in event planning, and manages accounts receivable and payable. Melissa most recently worked in Healthcare Advancement at the University of Missouri. Prior to that, she worked as a Senior Strategic Communications associate in University Relations at the University of Missouri System. Her first experience working with non-profits was at Columbia College, where she served as a Coordinator for the Advancement division. Melissa is a Columbia College graduate with a BA in History. She lives with her husband, Chris, in Fulton. Melissa’s favorite part of working at the Thompson Foundation is seeing the tangible, positive impact its advocacy work has on the Thompson Center and the families it serves.