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Top 6 Things to Know or Do


Apply to Divison of Developmental Disabilities (DDD)

Applying to the Division of Developmental Disabilities is the first step in receiving services here in Arizona. In order to be eligible for DDD, you must:

1 – Be a resident of Arizona

2 – Be at risk of having a developmental disability (before the age of 6); after the age of 6, you must have a diagnosis of: epilepsy, cerebral palsy, autism, or cognitive disability

3 – Must be diagnosed before the age of 18
List of Doctors who Diagnose Children

4 – Must have functional limitations in 3 of 7 major life areas: self-care, receptive/expressive language, learning, mobility, independent living, self-direction or economic self-sufficiency


Apply to ALTCS - the Medicaid funding source for DDD

ALTCS (Arizona Long Term Care System) is the Federal Medicaid funding source to pay for the services that DDD coordinates. ALTCS must process your application within 45 days. There are two steps to applying for ALTCS:

1 – Financial Interview – this is a phone interview with a series of questions to make sure your child does not have more than $2,000 in their name

2 – PAS Interview – this is done in person in your home with a series of questions about your child and their development. You must have 40 points in order to qualify. Make sure to attend one of our Free Autism 101 classes held monthly to go over this step in more detail. The PAS Tool questions and links are listed below.

3 – Once you have been approved for ALTCS, you will be asked to select a health plan through Arizona’s Health Care Cost Containment System (AHCCCS). Currently, there are three choices. This will then become your secondary insurance if you have Primary Care Insurance. You have 30 days from being approved to pick which plan you want and have the opportunity to switch once per year.  Be sure to read the new member handbook and check for your current Doctors you use in each plan before you choose one.


What does DDD/ALTCS cover?

First, DDD alone only covers support coordination. You MUST qualify both to get services. If you have both please look at the links below:


Contact your school district special education department.

In order to get appropriate services for your child in school, contact your local school district and ask in writing  for a complete Psychoeducational Evaluation to be completed on your child. They have 60 days to evaluate your child. To find your school district, look up on the Arizona Department of Education at: or call 602-542-5393. Once your child is evaluated for Special Education services, you will have a MET/IEP meeting to determine goals and what placement is appropriate for your child’s needs. 

For more information on your rights, IEP’s and Special Education Law, visit


Attend the Autism 101 Class

The Free Autism 101 classes are held monthly in four parts of the valley -North, Central, East and West. This class is for parents and family members new to autism or new to Arizona. This class will go over the steps to access services, steps to start the Special Education process, and offer other information and resources to help you have a successful journey. Parents are encouraged to watch the Autism 101 class online first, as well as click each of the links in the Autism in AZ section prior to attending the Autism 101 class so they are better prepared with their individual questions.  Must RSVP in order to attend so we know how many packets to bring to the class. Please check our calendar for updated dates and times as they are subject to change.


Find the closest support group meeting

The support group meetings are found in the North, West, East and Central areas of Phoenix as a way for parents to connect with each other, find valuable information and resources, and receive the support they need from other families. Each meeting is run a little differently, but all of the meetings include guest speakers and the chance to connect with other parents. We also sponsor two adult support group meetings where a separate room is provided for the parents to meet. At our AZ ASSIST meetings in the West and East valley, teens and young adults (ages 14+) attend and interact with each other in one room while the parents connect and listen to a speaker in a different room. Come and join our growing community of individuals who support each other on our different paths of raising or loving individuals on the spectrum.