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Welcome to Arizona!

Did you know that Phoenix, Arizona was named the most Autism friendly city in the World?
Check out this great video from PBS to learn more.

Mesa, Arizona is the First-Ever Autism Certified City in the United States. 

Top 6 Things to Know or Do


Apply to the Division of Developmental Disabilities (DDD)

Applying to the Division of Developmental Disabilities is the first step in receiving services here in Arizona.
This program is available to individuals 3 years old and above. It’s important to know that having a diagnosis is not an automatic qualifier. 

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, Down Syndrome or Cognitive Disability
  3. Must be diagnosed before the age of 18
  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

Useful Links

For children under the age of 3 

The Arizona Early Intervention Program (AzEIP) is Arizona’s statewide interagency system of services and supports for families of infants and toddlers, birth through two years of age, with disabilities or delays. AzEIP is established by Part C of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), which provides eligible children and their families access to services to enhance the capacity of families and caregivers to support the child’s development.


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 Autism 101 classes held monthly to go over this step in more detail. The PAS Tool questions and links are listed below.

3 – Time frame – When you apply for ALTCS, they have 45 days to make a decision. If you are denied and choose to appeal, they have 90 days from the date of the appeal or 120 days if there was a continuance granted during the appeal.  The Hearing Officer has 20 days to make a decision and the Director has 30 days to accept or reject the Hearing officers decision.

4 – 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 two 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 for both DDD and ALTCS 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 class is held once a month online via Zoom. 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.   


Find the closest support group meeting

Our support group meetings are held monthly as a way for parents and caregivers to connect with each other, find valuable information and resources, and receive the support they need from other families.  There are online and in-person options.

We also offer Autistic adult support groups and meetups.  

We also offer trainings and social opportunities. Please view our calendar of events to view current events and to sign up.