Dr. Sonia O’Donnell-McGowin, DC

MAPS Doctor and Practicing Chiropractor

I’ve been with Health Quest since September 2010, first as an intern and now as a practicing doctor. The focus of my practice is children with disabilities, including autism, learning disabilities, ADD/HD, and mental health issues.

Before becoming a chiropractor, I was the Deputy Director of Outreach Services for the Judevine Center for Autism (now called Easter Seals Midwest). I was blessed to work with families with autism across 92 counties of Missouri for 14 years. The experience I gained at Judevine has been priceless to me, both personally and professionally.

I am a Defeat Autism Now Doctor. This means I use a biomedical approach to treating autism, ADD/HD, learning disabilities, ADD/HD and other diagnoses. I have completed the MAPS Doctor (Medical Association of Pediatric Special Needs) certification, which will allow me to bring even more expertise to families who are concerned about their childrens’ development.

After meeting with a family and taking a detailed history and exam, there are many assessment and treatment options for children and adults here at Health Quest:

  • I have a variety of tests available that help me understand a patient’s nutrition status (vitamins, minerals, fatty acids, urinary organic acids, etc.). These tests are helpful for patients who have difficulty concentrating, who have behavior problems, digestive issues, sleep difficulties, or formal diagnoses such as autism. I have found that the root of many behavioral issues is usually nutritional! Some of these tests use blood, urine, saliva and feces. I always try to find the test that is well-tolerated by the child. If they are especially fearful of blood draws, I do my best to find a test that doesn’t require needles.
  • Alcat Food Sensitivity testing is also available. This is particularly useful for children who have trouble focusing at school, who complain frequently of bellyaches, headaches or other chronic issues. This is also great for adults who have IBS, migraine headaches, joint pain or other chronic complaint.
  • We also offer genetic testing through Courtagen Labs. This test is very helpful for kids with developmental disabilities, seizures, autism, or autoimmune conditions. The lab provides specific diet, supplement and other recommendations when a positive result is found.
  • We offer other genomic testing, as well; specifically for Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms (SNPs). Knowing about genetic SNPs help guide treatment, supplement and diet recommendations. I recommend testing for SNPs for all kids with autism, or chronic issues like ADD/HD, behavior problems and digestive concerns.
  • The more standard tests like thyroid, blood counts, metabolic panels, etc., are also available.
  • The costs for these tests is dependent on a family’s insurance. We can work with families to determine their cost prior to the test.

Once the testing is completed, I work with the family to develop a comprehensive treatment plan to address their child’s individual needs. For families who live far away, visits can be conducted remotely via phone, email and Skype.

I treat many babies and toddlers here at Health Quest, also! We see a lot of progress with babies who have colic, reflux, constipation, irritability and difficulty sleeping. I’d love to have a chance to talk to you about any concerns you’re having with your child.

I live here in Jefferson City with my husband, Shannon and my kids, Libby and Roan. We have an English Bulldog named Lola and three cats, Humphrey, CattyCakes and Mrs. Howard. I’m active in the kids’ schools and keep busy running the kids to church, guitar and piano lessons. When I have time for fun, I love to read, sew, cross stitch, paint and garden. I’m a graduate of Cleveland Chiropractic College in Kansas City.