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DDS Frequently Asked Questions

DDS Frequently Asked Questions

Q. I think my child has a developmental delay or disability. What should I do?

A. If you, a loved one, or a person in your care needs services and support. You can contact DDS Intake and Referral by calling 501-683-5687 or submit an online request for services.

  • If your child gets Medicaid health care coverage, a wide range of services are available to help with the needs of individuals with developmental or intellectual disabilities.
    • Developmental screenings, therapy, and care plans for infants and toddlers
    • Day treatment programs for children and adults
    • Applied behavior analysis (ABA) or specialized services for children with autism
    • Occupational therapy, speech therapy, and physical therapy
    • Help coordinating care needs and case management services
  • If your child does not qualify for Medicaid health care coverage, two grant-funded programs may be able to help.
Q. What services does Medicaid cover to serve people with developmental and intellectual disabilities?

A. If you have Medicaid health care coverage, specialized services are available. Please note that you first need to meet with your Primary Care Physician (PCP) to get prescriptions or referrals before you can get these services:

  • Early Intervention Services
  • Occupational Therapy
  • Physical Therapy
  • Speech Therapy
  • Physician Specialists
  • Hospital Services
  • Personal Care
  • Durable Medical Equipment
  • Outpatient Behavioral Health Counseling
Q. My adult child has developmental disabilities, and I really need help caring for him. Are there services available?

A. If your adult child gets Medicaid health care coverage, he or she has some options for services:

  • Adult Developmental Day Treatment (ADDT). This is a program available for adults over 18 years old to deliver services in a clinic setting.
  • The Community Employment Support Waiver, or Developmental Disability Waiver, can offer home- and community- based services such as supported living and employment for your child, or respite for you as the caregiver.
  • Developmental Disabilities Services (DDS) operates five Human Development Centers around the state that provide 24-hour care to Arkansans with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

To find out which services your child may qualify for, contact DDS Intake and Referral at 501-683-5687 to speak to a DDS specialist.

Q. I think my child may have autism. What services can help?

A. If you think your child may have Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), first schedule an appointment with your child’s PCP to discuss your concerns about his or her development. Your child’s PCP will help you to get referrals to the clinicians who can conduct testing in order to diagnose ASD.

Once your child has an ASD diagnosis, he or she may be able to get services to help like Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA) therapy or the Autism Waiver. You can contact DDS Intake and Referral by calling 501-683-5687 or submit an online request for services.

Q. I’ve heard of something called the DD Waiver. What is it, and how can it help me?

A. Medicaid-eligible Arkansans of all ages with developmental disabilities may apply to get home- and community-based services through the Community and Employment Support Waiver, or Developmental Disability Waiver, to allow them to live in the community rather than in an institution such as a nursing home or Intermediate Care Facility. Services for this Waiver are delivered by the Provider-led Arkansas Shared Savings Entity (PASSE) program and include:

  • Hospital services, doctor visits, personal care, specialized therapies, medications, and counseling
  • Higher need services like respite, supported employment, supported living, specialized medical supplies, adaptive equipment, environmental modifications, crisis intervention, and more
Q. How can I apply for the DD Waiver?

A. To get started, contact DDS Intake and Referral at 501-683-5687. The specialist will help you with the forms you need to fill out to apply.

Q. I was approved for the DD Waiver, and I’m on the wait list. How can I find out what number I am on the list?

A. You can find out your wait list number by calling 501-683-0571 or by email

Q. What is a Human Development Center (HDC)?

A. Developmental Disabilities Services (DDS) operates five Intermediate Care Facilities (ICF) that provide 24-hour care to Arkansans with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Four HDCs accept adults age 18 or over, and one HDC accepts adults as well as children younger than 18. The facilities are located in:

  • Arkadelphia
  • Booneville
  • Conway (accepts children under 18)
  • Jonesboro
  • Warren

Four private Intermediate Care Facilities also provide placement only for children:

  • Millcreek of Arkansas
  • Arkansas Pediatric Facility
  • Brownwood Life Care Center
  • Easter Seals Children’s Rehabilitation Center
Q. What is an Independent Assessment, and how do I know if I need one?

A. Everyone who is on the DD Waiver is served by a PASSE. To help the PASSE best serve your needs, you need to get an Independent Assessment to measure what you do best and what skills you need help doing. A company named Optum performs these assessments for DHS, and Optum will contact you to set up a time that is best for you. If you’re wondering when your next one needs to happen, you can find out from Shelby Maldonado at

Q. What is a PASSE?

A. PASSE is a program that serves Medicaid clients with complex behavioral health, developmental, or intellectual disabilities. There are three PASSEs that monitor their clients’ health care needs, keep them healthy, and help them reach goals.

A Medicaid client’s services are managed and reimbursed by the PASSEs if the person:

  • is on the Developmental Disabilities (DD) Waiver
  • is on the DD Waiver wait list and gets Medicaid state plan services
  • lives in a private DD Intermediate Care Facility
  • has a Behavioral Health (BH) diagnosis and needs services in addition to counseling and medication management

Once a year during Open Enrollment in October, clients may choose to switch PASSEs.

Q. I have a PASSE, but my PASSE is denying a service I need. Can I contact someone at DHS to help?

A. We recommend you first call your PASSE to speak with them, but you may also contact the PASSE Ombudsman Office:

  • Call: 1-844-843-7351
    • Individuals who have a hearing or speech impairment can contact our office by calling toll free, 1-888-987-1200, option 2.
  • Email: