Where to Begin

Whether your child has recently received a diagnosis or you are currently searching for answers, we are here to help. We have all become members of a club that none of us expected to join. We have been in your situation and have experienced similar emotions – feeling powerless, overwhelmed and alone.


Our Goal

The goal of this website is to help replace those feelings of powerlessness with feelings of empowerment that come from knowledge. Information has been compiled in a variety of areas that will help you understand your child’s rights and available opportunities to help them reach their full potential. There are Acronyms and Definitions sections to help you learn important terminology to help you become a more effective advocate for your child.

If you are feeling overwhelmed, information in the Education section can walk you step-by-step through the entire process of qualifying for special education and other school services to help your child be more successful in school. You don’t need to scramble to find appropriate services; we’ve provided detailed information in the section on Government & Financial Resources that can offer information on programs that can offer assistance to your child and your family.

Advocacy and SupportAnd if you are feeling alone, we encourage you to talk with other parents and caregivers. We are here to listen, support one another, help answer questions, and most importantly to learn from one another and to celebrate our children. The Advocacy and Support section has a list of organizations that can offer specific information on a variety of special needs and situations.

Don’t forget to check out the sections on Social and Community, and Sports and Fitness. Our children need opportunities to be out in the community, get exercise, and have fun!


There are three main areas that you will need to consider when beginning to obtain needed services for your child:

1. Medical – Your child’s primary doctor or pediatrician can do an initial assessment and recommend if further testing or referrals to other medical specialists are needed to help diagnose and document developmental delays and disabilities. See Medical & Therapy section for additional information.A list of early signs and characteristics seen in children with autism can be found here.

2. County Case Manager/Social Worker – If either you or your child’s primary doctor have concerns about your child’s development, a Washington County Developmental Disability Social Worker can conduct an evaluation to determine if your child qualifies for services, including Medical Assistance (TEFRA). See Government & Financial Resources section for additional information.

3. School District – Your local school district can do an evaluation to determine if your child qualifies for special education and related services. Children under three are evaluated by Early Childhood Special Education. See Education section for additional information.