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Access autism services

If you are an adult who has autism, please see
Is It Autism and If So, What Next? A Guide for Adults

Access early intervention and individualized education services

You don’t have to wait for a diagnosis of autism for your child to receive services to address related developmental delays and learning challenges. You can access these services free of charge through your state’s Early Intervention program or your school district’s Special Education office. You can also ask your doctor to refer your child for further medical and behavioral evaluations and therapies.

To locate services in your state and area, see the Autism Speaks Resource Guide here.

See the Autism Speaks Insurance Link to find out if your child is entitled to autism services under your health insurance plan.

If your child is age 3 (36 months) or younger

If you have concerns about a child who is 3 years (36 months) or younger, contact your state’s Early Intervention office for an evaluation. (Find state-by-state contact information here.) The evaluation is free of charge. By law, your child must receive the evaluation within 60 days of your written request.

Based on the evaluation, your child may be eligible for a program of early intervention services called an Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP) tailored to his or her needs. Depending on your child’s strengths and challenges, this plan may include a range of home-based services. Often these include behavioral, speech, occupational and feeding therapies. By law, your child must receive these services within 30 days of the determination of eligibility.

You can read more about your child's rights to such services here.

To learn more, download the Autism Speaks 100 Day Kit for Families of Newly Diagnosed Young Children.

If your child is older than age 3 (36 months)

If your preschooler or grade-schooler has autism or related developmental challenges, federal law requires your school district to work with you to develop an Individualized Education Program (IEP). The program should address your child’s specific educational needs. Contact your school district to request an evaluation to determine your child’s eligibility. Your child does not need a diagnosis of autism to receive one.

To learn more, download the Autism Speaks 100 Day Kit for Families of Newly Diagnosed School Age Children and Individualized Education Program (IEP) Guide: Summary, Process and Practical Tips.

Next:
Learn more about autism

Previous:
Step 1: Learn the signs
Step 2: Get your child screened

Contact the Autism Response Team

Need personal guidance? Members of the Autism Speaks Autism Response Team are trained to connect individuals and families with information, tools and resources.

Call us (888) 288-4762
En Español (888) 772-9050
Email us at familyservices@autismspeaks.org