Autism Information

What is Autism Spectrum Disorder?

Signs, symptoms, and red flags

Autism Speaks website explains what Autism Spectrum Disorder is, and tells you what signs to watch for in your child (en español).

Parents can complete the Modified Checklist for Autism in Toddlers (M-CHAT), a screening tool that assesses the risk of Autism Spectrum Disorder in children between 16 and 30 months of age. Discuss the results with your child's pediatrician.

You can also take a look at this Developmental Checklist for general information about children's developmental milestones, and to see if your child is showing any "red flags" that would indicate that evaluation and/or intervention is needed. (Lista de verificación del Desarrollo) (Danh sách kiểm tra phát triển)


What to do if you have concerns about your child:

  • Schedule an appointment with your child’s pediatrician to discuss your concerns.
  • Talk to your child’s pediatrician about whether a speech and language evaluation and/or an occupational therapy evaluation is appropriate for your child.
  • Ask your child’s pediatrician about a referral for your child to be evaluated at The Autism Center at Texas Children’s Hospital.
  • If your child is under the age of 3, call the Early Childhood Intervention (ECI) program at 1-800-628-5115 to see if your child qualifies for services.
  • If your child is over the age of 3, he/she may be eligible to receive services through your local school district.

Click here to receive more information on each of the services listed above and more information on how to obtain these services for your child.


 What to do if your child has been diagnosed with Autism:

  • If your child is under the age of 3, call the Early Childhood Intervention (ECI) program at 1-800-628-5115 to see if your child qualifies for services.
  • If your child is over the age of 3, he/she may be eligible to receive services through your local school district. Children with Autism often qualify for additional assistance in school. See the Community Resource page for more information on requesting a school evaluation for your child.
  • Follow-up with speech and language therapy, occupational therapy, and/or physical therapy referrals that your child may have been given at the time of diagnosis.
  • Call your insurance company to see if Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA) therapy is a covered service.
  • If you have an insurance plan that does not cover ABA therapy (ex: Medicaid or CHIP), see the Community Resource tab for more information on locating grant funded options in Texas.
  • Look into social skills interventions that increase socialization opportunities.
  • Connect with other parents, who have children with Autism, as a source of support.
  • Place your child on the Medicaid Waiver interest lists. Your child can qualify for these waivers even if your family does not typically qualify for Medicaid.
  • Apply for Social Security Insurance (SSI). Children with Autism may qualify for SSI, which provides a maximum monthly benefit of $750.

Click here to receive more information on each of the services listed above and how you may obtain these services for your child.