This medical video looks at the life changing intervention for Autism.
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Jennifer Mathews: When you see 5-year-old Sarah Beard today, you'd never guess this was her a year ago. Her life was filled with tantrums and rituals -- methodically lining up toys and spinning in circles. She'd scream at her own birthday parties if anyone sang happy birthday. Today, that old Sarah is hard to find. Sarah Beard: Myself is something who is the personality, and I am a special person of 'anality. Jennifer Mathews: Sarah was diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome -- an autism spectrum disorder -- at two. Mom Colleen says that early diagnosis changed her little girl. Colleen Beard: The amount of progress she has made, she's a different girl today than she was 14 months ago. Jennifer Mathews: Autism expert Catherine Lord says early diagnosis leads to life-changing interventions. Catherine Lord: It's been truly wonderful to see how many things people with autism can do and things that we would not have probably dreamed about 20 or 30 years ago. Jennifer Mathews: Therapy focuses on completion of tasks and social interaction. Experts believed half of autistic kids would never speak. With early intervention, Doctor Lord found only 14 % won't. Catherine Lord: It's not what you have done in a day -- but what you know -- it leads into something that is really going to change children's lives. Jennifer Mathews: Sarah remembers how she used to behave. Sarah Beard: It feels like I screamed a lot. Jennifer Mathews: But doesn't dwell on it. Sarah Beard: No, I'm not afraid anymore. Jennifer Mathews: And this year, she even let her family sing her happy birthday. This is Jennifer Mathews reporting.