Keller's diagnosis changed the Garcille family's life. Now they spend their time in waiting rooms and doctors' offices, researching autism developments and watching Keller for anything that may hint at a meltdown in the making.
"Appointments. Lots of appointments," Trevor Garcille said.
Because there are few autism specialists in Rolla, Missouri, where the Garcilles live, the family has made the Thompson Center in Columbia their primary source of care.
Every few months, the couple makes the two-hour drive with Keller for his appointments. Fortunately, the Garcille's insurance is accepted by the MU Health Care System.
"We go to Columbia because the Thompson Center is one of the best in the country. A two-hour drive is nothing when it gives him the best chance for growth," Erika Garcille said.
Since his diagnosis in April, Keller has had five assessments. That doesn't include all of the doctors' appointments and consultations for other factors, such as the influence of diet on his symptoms. In a time span of only six months, Keller has been to see one sort of doctor or another at least 14 times.
The Garcilles aren't the only ones stressed by the number of appointments they have. People and organizations that provide treatment, such as the Thompson Center, are also feeling the strain. Wait times for new patients are getting longer as the center manages an increase in the number of referrals it receives, as well as an increase in requests for evaluations.