SIOUX CITY, Iowa — Pope Francis has asked the Catholic church on a world-wide scale this week to embrace the role of science in treating brain and behavior disorders.
One Siouxland university has already gotten a head start.
“Families are reaching out and saying, 'Who can help us?' So behavioral analysis, that program is very beneficial to all of us.”
— Gary Turbes, Mid-Step Services executive director
Briar Cliff University is partnering with the Pier Center for Autism in Sioux City for its behavioral analysis graduate program.
Professors within the program say it's the first of it's kind in the state. Students and staff use scientific analysis to try and curb some of the behavioral effects of the autism spectrum disorder.
Professors say their partnership with the Pier Center allows them to help alleviate the need for behavior analysis services in the community.
"Right now we're really working on the partnerships with the community. There is a significant need for services within the Sioux City community," says Stephanie Hood, psychology professor at Briar Cliff.
Officials with Mid-Step Services, owners of the Pier Center, say they're glad to have the influx of students studying behavioral analysis to help the people they work with every day.
"Autism is out there, services are needed. So we're there to help. Families are reaching out and saying, 'Who can help us?' So behavioral analysis, that program is very beneficial to all of us," Gary Turbes, Executive Director of Mid-Step Services said.
The Pope hosted the church's first ever scientific conference on Autism on Friday at the Vatican.
© 2014 KTIV News Channel 4. Republished with permisison