In a public/private partnership, the William & Nancy Thompson Family Foundation (Thompson Family Foundation) and the Children and Families Commission of Orange County have provided $14.8 million to create The Center for Autism and Neurodevelopmental Disorders of Southern California (The Center for Autism), which aims to bring a unique multidisciplinary focus on clinical care, education, research and community support. The Center for Autism will become part of UC Irvine, a leading global research university.
The Center for Autism will be home to a team of experts in the field of autism and neurodevelopmental disorders, led by UC Irvine and CHOC Children’s pediatric neurologist Dr. Joseph Donnelly, director of For OC Kids Neurodevelopmental Center. Since its opening in 2001, For OC Kids has been a leader in assessment, diagnosis, care coordination, family support and education for children with autism and other developmental disorders. The Center for Autism will build on the For OC Kids platform over time, ultimately offering a complete range of diagnostic and treatment services to children, adolescents and young adults from birth to age 22 years.
“We intend to create a nationally recognized treatment and research center that provides help and hope for children and families living with autism spectrum and neurodevelopmental disorders. Nothing like this currently exists in Southern California and we are absolutely committed to transforming the diagnosis and treatment of autism,” said Mr. Thompson, chairman of the William & Nancy Thompson Family Foundation.
The William & Nancy Thompson Family Foundation has been funding autism treatment and research over the past decade and previously created The Thompson Center for Autism and Neurodevelopmental Disorders at the University of Missouri, which will collaborate directly with the new Center for Autism.