Parent Page: Navigating Autism id: 31206 Active Page: Diagnosisid:31209


The most common professionals who diagnose autism in Oklahoma are licensed psychologists or psychiatrists, developmental pediatricians, and

school psychologists. Other professionals who may have specialized training to diagnose autism as a part of a team include licensed professional counselors, speech-language pathologists, and occupational therapists.  These professionals have specialized training and experience in diagnosing and providing interventions for autism.  An autism assessment includes using a variety of tools including family and teacher interviews, observations, and standardized tests.

The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) is the federal law that makes available a FREE appropriate public education (FAPE) to eligible children with disabilities and ensures special education and related services to those children.
Infants and toddlers, from birth through to age 3 years, with disabilities and their families may receive early intervention services under the IDEA Part C. In Oklahoma, these services are provided by Sooner Start. SoonerStart is Oklahoma’s early intervention program designed to meet the needs of families with infants or toddlers (ages birth to 3 years old) with developmental delays and/or disabilities in accordance with the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). The program builds upon and provides support and resources to assist family members in enhancing infants' or toddler’s learning and development through every day learning opportunities. To access these services, please call the Department of Health and Human Services office in your county or complete this Sooner Start Referral Form.

Children ages 3 through 21 years old, may be eligible for special education and related services under the IDEA-Part B for the purpose of achieving independent living skills, increasing career opportunities, accessing post-secondary education, and community participation.  These educational, therapeutic, and other services and supports are provided by the public school district in which you reside. The first step for any child to receive special education services is an evaluation to determine eligibility. You can request this type of evaluation by contacting the special education department director of the school district in which you reside.  You can find a sample email here.

A special education evaluation will show if a child has a disability and needs specialized instruction and support. Parents must give informed consent for this evaluation to take place at school. An evaluation for special education will show a child’s strengths and challenges. The evaluation scores should show the specific areas your child struggles with. Having the evaluation information allows the IEP team to provide individualized instruction and supports your child needs. The school team will use the results of your child’s evaluation testing to design an individualized education plan if your child is eligible for services.