Has your child just been diagnosed? Your child may be eligible for state and county services.

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First Steps

Has your child just been diagnosed? Your child may be eligible for state and county services.

A child diagnosed with an Autism Spectrum Disorder may be eligible for a variety of state and county funded services. Making contact with the appropriate agencies is just the first step in the process of accessing services. Determining eligibility will require screening and/or assessment, and parents will need to provide a substantial amount of information. Due to waiting lists for services, parents are encouraged to contact the appropriate agencies as soon as autism is identified.

County Services - Human Services Department:
Each county has a department of human services that provides services to children with autism spectrum disorders and their families. Your county department should be contacted to inquire about eligibility for case management, children’s waiver funds, respite care, and access to State Medicaid. Due to waiting lists for services, parents are encouraged to contact the county department as soon as autism is identified. Parents will most likely be referred to an intake/access worker, and the parent will need to provide the county with substantial information in order to determine eligibility for particular services. A copy of a complete evaluation, that includes a diagnosis and the assessment tools used for the evaluation, will be required to determine eligibility. Other medical records and evaluations will also be required. Services provided may be subject to a parental fee based on household income.

Autism Speaks:
This national organization has a great "tool kit" available for download for parents with children who have been newly diagnosed.

County Services - Birth To Three Program:
In the State of Wisconsin, counties provide services to young children with special needs, delays in development or atypical development from birth until their 3rd birthdays. Services may include service coordination, teacher visits, occupational, physical or speech therapy. For contact information for the Birth to 3 Program in your county, visit: http://dhfs.wisconsin.gov/bdds/birthto3.

School District - Special Education Department:
Children ages 3 and older with autism spectrum disorders may be eligible to receive special education services based on individual needs. Contact your local school district to request that your child be evaluated to determine eligibility for special education services. This is determined based on the educational criteria established by the State of Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction. For more information about the eligibility criteria for autism, visit: http://dpi.wi.gov/sped/autism.html.

SSI: Supplemental Security Income is a program of monthly income and access to State Medicaid for a child with a disability. To complete the application process, you will need copies of medical reports and evaluations. The application process takes three to four months. Determination of eligibility is based on family income and assets. Call 1-800-772-1213 for more information, or visit: http://www.ssa.gov.

Katie Beckett: The Katie Beckett Program is an eligibility process that allows certain in Wisconsin with long-term disabilities, living at home with their families, to obtain a Wisconsin Medicaid card. Children who are not eligible for other Medicaid programs because the income or assets of their parents are too high, may be eligible for Medicaid through the Katie Beckett Program. Children who qualify for the Intensive Autism Services or other Children’s Waivers may be eligible for MA through the waiver. Contact your county human services department to explore options for accessing State Medicaid. More information can be obtained by calling (608) 266-3236, or at: http://www.katiebeckett.com.