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Tuesday, August 6, 2013 - 6:00am

Ga. Officials Learning To Spot, Assess Autism

The Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning is getting help from health care organizations and a local university to train specialists on early detection of autism and learning disorders.

A department spokesman said Monday that Children's Healthcare of Atlanta, the Emory University School of Medicine and the Marcus Autism Center will train the department's infant and toddler specialists to detect and assess developmental disorders during a 12-week program.

Department Commissioner Bobby Cagle says detection of autism is most effective if intervention happens before age 3, but the average age of diagnosis is between 4 and 5.

Executive Director of the Marcus Autism Center Don Mueller says the partnership will allow his agency to provide support that state officials can redistribute to serve more Georgia children.