Missouri Southern holds ribbon cutting ceremony for new ACACIA Center

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JOPLIN, Mo. — There was plenty to celebrate this morning on the campus of Missouri Southern.

The new “ACACIA Center for Applied Behavior Analysis” is officially open. It’s in the Gene Taylor Education Building on the south side of the Leggett and Platt Athletic Center.

Grant money last year allowed officials to renovate the facility. The center will provide students with hands-on learning opportunities — not to mention valuable resources to families of children with Autism Spectrum Disorder — and other behaviors.

“We aren’t just solely Autism. That makes us unique to this area. We want to help any and all learners, so we don’t require any sort of diagnosis, and so I would say that makes us really unique because most places around here do require some form of diagnosis to then be able to provide services, and so we wanted to make sure those individuals who don’t have a diagnosis, are getting those services that they need,” said Dr. Ayla Schmick, MSSU ACACIA Center Director.

The community is invited to take a tour of the center Friday. A come-and-go open house is scheduled to start at noon — and will run until five.

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