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Children's Biomedical Center of Utah

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This is Fred Ball for Zions Bank, Speaking on Business.

Dr. Bryan Jepson, an emergency room physician, noticed there was something wrong with his young son. One of the first symptoms he noticed was that his son would not respond when he talked to him; he did not seem to want to share his world. Later, a clinical psychologist diagnosed the child's situation as autism.

Feeling apprehensive, Dr. Jepson began doing research on the common but unfamiliar disease. He discovered that autism was initially recognized although incorrectly classified as a psychological disorder in the early 1940s. In the 1960s, it was mistakenly referred to as Refrigerator Mother Syndrome because the unusual behavior was thought to be the result of cold, unfeeling mothers. Now autism is linked to environmental and genetic factors. With treatment, autism is no longer considered permanent impairment. There are possibilities for improvement.

Dr. Jepson points out that the first thing most parents of autistic children notice is a delay in language skills. In fact some autistic children never talk. The other signs are social impairments and repetitive behaviors such as spinning or flapping of their hands. The incidence of autism is about 1 in 250.

Dr. Jepson believes autism is a community concern and more should be done to assist autistic children and their families before it becomes a significant social issue.

Having gained a knowledge of autism, Dr. Jepson recently opened the Children's Biomedical Center of Utah. The office, which is located at 880 E. 9400 South, serves to offer families of autistic children hope for potential improvement. Dr. Jepson said he opened the center because there was no centralized location in Utah to treat the children. Some families were flying out of state.

The center operates in a non-profit capacity in order to make treatment accessible for parents who may not have insurance or their policies may not cover services.

Dr. Jepson is currently working to expand the services of the Children's Biomedical Center of Utah to not only treat the medical aspects of autism but also the psychological.

For Zions Bank, I'm Fred Ball. I'm speaking on business.

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