Families of Newly Diagnosed Children: What do I do now?!
Nine things to do first to secure services when you find out your child has autism
Compiled by Susan Hansen, Updated by Michele Trivedi Contact numbers for FSSA and BDDS may vary by location
- 1 If under 3, get into First Step program. Run by Family and Social Services Administration (FSSA). Contact Indiana First Steps at 1-800-441-STEP or on their website.
- 2 Contact your local school to secure any and all special education services to which you are entitled. These services start before kindergarten at age 3.
- 3 If your child has more needs than can be met by the school, ask about extended school year (schooling during the summer) and about applying for special wraparound funding (secures extra help at home and in community) through the Department of Education. Be insistent. Must apply through your local school.
4 Enroll your child for all three Medicaid waivers (currently there are waiting lists, find more information here). These provide a variety of services in your home or in the community to help your child with autism. For general questions about Medicaid waivers contact your local Bureau of Developmental Disabilities Services (BDDS) office—part of FSSA. For general information, contact FSSA— 317-233-0828 or your local BDDS office.
- DD waiver. Administered both by CICOA and BDDS. To enroll: Indianapolis: CICOA area 8: 317-254-5465 or 800-489-9550; BDDS area 5: 317-254-2065.
- Autism waiver. Administered by FSSA. To enroll, use contact numbers above.
- Support Services Waiver. Lower cap Medicaid waiver. To enroll, use numbers above.
- 5 Obtain respite help through local ARC of Indiana Chapter. Coordinated through the local ARCs, many of which provide direct care services. The Noble ARC is for greater Indianapolis. Sliding fee depending on income.
- 6 If you are desperate, apply for Family Subsidy. Can be used to help pay for services like respite. Contact your local BDDS offices.
- 7 Plan ahead for day care and summer needs. Easter Seals Crossroads – 317-479-3232.
- 8 Join a support group. For more info, go to Autism Society of Indiana website.
- 9 Determine if your insurance plan is covered under the Indiana Autism Mandate, which may require your health insurer to pay for treatment such as speech therapy, occupational therapy, Applied Behavior Analysis Therapy (Lovaas or Verbal Behavior) see Insurance Info section of Little Star Center’s website.
© 2012-2013 Little Star Center, Inc. All rights reserved.