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Time to Start the Diagnostic Process for Autism

Tara Warwick, MS, OTR/L

September 27, 2013

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Question

When is the ideal time to begin the diagnostic process for autism?

 

Answer

Research says the earlier, the better.  Right now the DSM-IV says characteristics are present before the age of three.  At our clinic, we are diagnosing children under the age of two.  It depends on the severity of their symptoms at that age.  It is important to have someone who is trained on the diagnostic tools, to  be able to differentiate between what is autism and what are other toddler type behaviors.  We know the earlier that we get it started the better.  The earlier we get them into early intervention programs, the better prognosis they will have and the quicker they will learn how to communicate and socially interact. 


tara warwick

Tara Warwick, MS, OTR/L

Tara Warwick is an occupational therapist who graduated from the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center in 2006 with her Master of Science in Rehab Sciences. She received a Bachelor of Science in Occupational Therapy in 2000 also from the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center. She has spent her entire career focusing on improving the quality of services for children, primarily targeting children with autism. She currently owns an Oklahoma pediatric therapy practice called Today’s Therapy Solutions and is a consultant for Project PEAK through the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center – Child Study Center. She practices as an occupational therapist in home settings, clinic settings, and school settings. Her specialty includes working with children with autism and challenging behavior.


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