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Building A Network Of Providers

Building a Network of Providers

Receiving a diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder (ASD or autism) can be very daunting. Parents may be overwhelmed with feelings as they adjust to the news and as questions about what they can do and what help there is available for their child arise. It is important for parents to build a network of providers to assist with the many aspects of daily living, whether for the child or for the parents, such as respite care to provide them with much-needed breaks. As each child with autism has different levels and severity of symptoms, any help or assistance needs to take into account the individual needs of the child, as well as the family needs as a whole.

A good family doctor is usually the first to access services such as speech therapy or occupational therapy. Access to these services can depend on what is affordable and/or what the family’s health insurance covers, as many services are very costly such as the Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA). Currently, many states have already enacted autism insurance legislation to ensure that health care providers include insurance coverage for autism. Moreover, due to the changes in recent laws, government-funded health programs, such as Medicaid, have increased insurance coverage for autism.

Autism Speaks is the largest autism science and advocacy organization in the United States. It provides not only help but also useful information through its Family Services Research Guide. By clicking on any state on the map, it will automatically show a list of services that can be found in a particular state. Entering the zip code and radius of a specific area can narrow down the services provided, and this will also include services provided in surrounding areas and states. This tool is indeed a valuable resource for parents and caregivers.

The following are a few of the categories of service providers listed:

  • Health services
  • Diagnostic
  • Early intervention
  • Preschool
  • Interventions
  • Advocacy

Support groups are another useful source of other available service providers in the area. Parents, as a support group, can share information and experiences with other parents. They can also serve as a no-cost or cheap daycare that can provide the break they need and deserve.

Building a good network of providers is vital for families with children diagnosed with autism, as they face many obstacles and challenges in day-to-day life. What each family requires varies according to their differing needs. Obtaining what is needed can depend on what is affordable, what the health insurance covers, and what other resources are available.


Autism Speaks, Autismspeaks.org: Family Services Resource Guide, Retrieved March 30, 2011, from http://www.autismspeaks.org/community/fsdb/search.php?chgst=true

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Parent Waitlist Program


November 02, 2023 | 12pm-1pm PDT

Journey to Independence

Community-based program designed to support families on waitlist

Being an RBT for me was extremely fun because where were you going to find a place where you can be completely silly without having to worry what people thought about you? This was the only job that made me feel like I could make a dramatic difference while being myself.

I also liked to be surrounded by people that had the same goals of wanting to help kids and the teamwork made the job much easier and more enjoyable.

Change and progress was the ultimate goal for our kiddos. The early intervention program was seriously only a miracle because I saw changes in the kiddos that from day one, you wouldn’t even recognize who they were.

Changes from being able to utter 3-4 words where they can only make a syllable from when they started, the behavior decreases in which kiddo that used to engage in 30-40 0 self-harm to only half, learning how to wait during games, table work where they use to swipe and drop to the floor if they had to.

My favorite was when the parents would tell us what amazing progress they were making at home. I used to tear up and felt for these parents so much because it was already difficult for them and now, they can trust and rely on ABA and the therapists knowing their goal was ours.

By Emma Rogers, BA, RBT

Mother Child
Special Learning’s Free Hotline

This is an independent SL Hotline that is part of our VCAT service. This hotline has no connection with any other association or membership group.

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