Overview of State Programs Available for Children and Young Adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder

The State of Texas administers a number of programs which serve the needs of children and young adults (defined here as birth through 21 years of age) with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and their families. Services in Texas for children and young adults with ASD and other disabilities are primarily provided through these state agencies:

Texas Department of Assistive and Rehabilitative Services (DARS):

  • Early childhood intervention services for children from birth to age three
  • Autism Program (Applied Behavior Analysis therapy) for children ages 3 through 8
  • Vocational services for adults seeking employment, including transition services for students exiting high school
  • Independent living services

Texas Health and Human Services (THHS):

  • Community services and supports programs, including Medicaid waiver programs
  • Intermediate care facilities, including State Supported Living Centers
  • Local MR authorities

Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC):

  • STAR+PLUS, a Medicaid managed care program
  • Medicaid Buy-In Program

Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS):

  • Texas Health Steps program, which includes the Comprehensive Care Program and Personal Care Services

Texas Education Agency (TEA):

  • Special education services, preschool through grade 12, provided through local independent school districts which coordinate with Education Service Centers

Local Agencies that provide services

Arc of Gregg County: Day habitation services for adults w/disabilities. Autism services. Project Star is a social and recreational program for people over age 18. Helps families who have a member with a disability.

Autism Speaks: Provides Information and Referral for Autism services.

Department of Assistive and Rehabilitative Services, or DARS: Provides services for Autism Blind and Visually Impaired, Deaf and Hard of Hearing Disability Determination, Early Childhood Intervention and Rehabilitation.

Parent Services Center East Texas (PATH): Aids families with special needs children ages 0-26 years with referral and transition help. Give parents information and resources to help them understand the special education process but you also help parents prepare for ARDs meetings.

Treatment and Learning Center (TLC): Program provides individualized treatment to each child, teaching functional skills by integrating children into their natural learning environments and reducing the need for one-on-one training.

Trinity Mother Frances Respite Care Program: Provides short term care for families of a person with a disability.

Autism Websites and Support Groups