LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — Maya Garcia Diaz is 8.
She is extra-sensitive to light, sound and unfamiliar smells. But she loves dental checkups.
“She loves the dentist, and it’s a testament to the people who’ve provided care to her,” said Karla Garcia Diaz, Maya’s mother.
Maya’s special needs have been known to all of her medical providers since she was an infant. Maya was diagnosed with autism at 11 months old.
“We knew very early in her life and that really helped her to start therapy early and get early intervention,” her mother said.
The Boone Fetter Clinic at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles specializes in diagnosing and treating autism from infancy to adolescence.
“This is a one-stop evaluation where we all talk together,” said Carolina Pena-Ricardo, a developmental behavioral pediatrician at Boone Fetter.
In just one visit to the Boone Fetter Clinic, children who are struggling are evaluated not only by pediatricians, but also by occupational, physical and speech pathologists. The evaluation can take up to seven hours.
Once it’s over, “We can provide a clinical diagnosis and make sure that things are clear and the parents have a very clear route of where to go,” Pena-Ricardo said.
To help families dealing with autism and special needs, all this week CBS2 and KCAL9 are gearing up for a very special event: Stephanie’s Day.
On Saturday, everyone is invited to see some of the programs and services available to Southern California families dealing with autism and other special needs.