Autism spectrum disorder is the fastest growing serious, developmental disability, affecting an estimated one out of 59 children in the United States. With this number growing at a significant rate, there continues to be an unmet need for services.
The Health and Human Services Autism Program champions excellence in the delivery of services for families of children with autism. Services are provided through grant contracts with local community agencies and organizations that provide applied behavioral analysis and other positive behavior support strategies. The program helps improve the quality of life for children on the autism spectrum and their families.
What Services are Provided?
The HHS Children's Autism Program provides focused ABA services through local community agencies and organizations.
Focused ABA treatment is targeted to address a few specific outcomes instead of all developmental needs of the child. It is particularly useful when children have challenging behaviors and when improvements in social and adaptive skills are sought. Focused ABA treatment is used to target specific behaviors. The treatment might be to:
- Minimize a challenging behavior; or
- Maximize a social or adaptive skill in a specific area.
A trained therapist provides treatment on the specific behavior. The level and intensity of treatment should be driven by the child's needs. Since the therapist is focusing on specifically defined behavior, the treatment period is shorter. The treatment through the HHS Children's Autism Program is limited to 180 hours within a 12-month period. The length of treatments received is limited to a maximum of 720 hours during the child's lifetime.
Participation in parent training is a required part of the service. Attendance for the child and the parents must be maintained at 85 percent of scheduled treatment.
Who is Eligible for Services?
A child is eligible for treatment through the Autism Program if the child:
- Has a documented diagnosis on the autism spectrum made by a qualified professional.
- Is 3 to 15 years old (services end on the child's 16th birthday).
- Is a Texas resident.
How to Find Services and Apply?
All services are provided by contractors located in communities around the state. Please call the contractor closest to your area to access services and complete the enrollment process.
800-222-3986, Ext. 5356
8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Central Time
Monday through Friday
Austin Area Phone
Children's Autism Program
P.O. Box 149030
Austin, TX 78714-9947