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What should I do if I think my child has Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)?

Schedule an appointment with your child’s primary care physician (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.

The testing team will include at least two of the following qualified professionals a physician, a psychologist, and a speech-language pathologist. An ASD-specific testing report will include three parts, but only two of the licensed professionals must conclude that a child fully meets the diagnostic criteria under the most recent edition of the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders are needed. 

Where can I go to get help with autism-specific testing? 

Your child’s PCP may refer you to the Dennis Developmental Center (DDC) in Little Rock or the Schmieding Developmental Center in Springdale. 

Another resource you can use is the Community-Based Autism Liaison and Treatment Project (CoBALT). CoBALT is a program with teams of health care professionals in communities across the state that can screen for developmental disorders.

Dennis Developmental Center 
Phone: 501-364-1830

Schmieding Developmental Center
Phone: 479-750-0125, Option 2

Community-Based Autism Liaison and Treatment Project (CoBALT)

My child has been diagnosed with ASD.  Where can I learn more?

What is Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA)?

Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) is a therapy that is based on the science of learning and behavior.  ABA therapy plans are made for the needs of each unique child and family.  ABA can be used to teach behaviors that can help children function in their home, school and community.  It can help to increase cognitive, communication, social, and self-help skills.   ABA can also help to decrease problem behaviors.  

My child received an ASD diagnosis, how do I get him or her ABA services?

A Board-Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) can evaluate your child for ABA services. If the BCBA recommends ABA services, he or she will work with you to develop a treatment plan for your child.

You can search for enrolled providers in your area here.  

You should search for “Autism Behavior Treatment Provider EPSDT” in the Provider Type and Specialty menus.  

Does my child need an ASD diagnosis to receive Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA)?

For Medicaid-eligible children, an ASD diagnosis is required before an ABA evaluation can be approved.

What do I do if my child is in a PASSE?

Schedule an appointment with your child’s primary care physician (PCP) to discuss your concerns about your child’s development. Also, contact your child’s Care Coordinator to discuss your concerns and ask about autism-related services covered by the PASSE.

Arkansas Total Care: 1-866-282-6280

CareSource PASSE: 1-833-230-2005

Empower Healthcare Solutions: 1-866-261-1286

Summit Community Care: 1-844-405-4295  

For more information about autism-specific testing and autism-related services covered under the EPSDT Autism Program, call 501-682-8665.