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  • Writer's pictureChristopher Aliotta

A Comprehensive Guide for New Arizona Autism Parents

Updated: Dec 1, 2023

Are you a parent of a child with autism in Arizona trying to navigate the healthcare system? You're not alone! The process to access resources can feel overwhelming, but rest assured, we're here to help. Through this guide, learn all you need to know about getting resources from the Division of Developmental Disabilities (DDD), AZ Health Care Cost Containment System (AHCCCS), and AZ Long Term Care System (ALTCS). It's our mission to provide informational support, all while being empathetic and compassionate to your unique and challenging situation.


What are DDD, AHCCCS, and ALTCS?

  • DDD - The Division of Developmental Disabilities is a state agency that provides various services and support to individuals with developmental disabilities, including autism. These services may include therapies, respite care, and family support. More information can be found on the DDD website.


  • AHCCCS - The Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System is Arizona's Medicaid program. It offers health care coverage to eligible low-income individuals and families, including children with autism. More information can be found on the AHCCCS website.


  • ALTCS - The Arizona Long Term Care System is a branch of AHCCCS that provides long-term care services to individuals with disabilities, including autism, who require ongoing support. More information can be found on the ALTCS website.


Benefits for Children with Autism

These programs provide essential services and support for children with autism, including behavioral health services, physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, and other necessary treatments. According to the AHCCCS Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) webpage, children with autism can benefit from early intervention and comprehensive treatment plans, including Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) therapy. ABA therapy is a critical component of care for children with autism, and Arizona law mandates coverage for such services.


Applying for DDD, AHCCCS, and ALTCS


Eligibility Requirements

To apply for these programs, your child must meet specific eligibility requirements:


1. DDD: Your child must have a qualifying developmental disability (including autism) diagnosed before the age of 18. A full list of eligibility criteria can be found on the DDD Eligibility webpage.


2. AHCCCS: Your child must meet income and residency requirements. Detailed information on eligibility can be found on the AHCCCS Eligibility webpage.


3. ALTCS: Your child must require a nursing facility level of care and meet financial eligibility requirements. More information can be found on the ALTCS Eligibility webpage.


Documentation and Application Process

To apply for these programs, you will need to gather the necessary documentation, including proof of your child's diagnosis, income, and residency. You may also need to provide medical records, school records, and other supporting documents.

1. DDD: Complete the DDD online application or call the DDD Customer Service Center at 1-844-770-9500 to request an application by mail.


2. AHCCCS: Apply online through Health-e-ArizonaPlus, or call your local AHCCCS office for assistance.


3. ALTCS: Contact your local ALTCS office to begin the application process


Coordination of Benefits

Enrolling in both a private commercial insurance plan and the state Medicaid plan can maximize the benefits available to your child. While the Medicaid plan functions as an HMO, it may have limited provider options and longer wait times. By combining coverage from a private plan and the state Medicaid plan, you can ensure access to a broader range of providers and services, including ABA therapy.


It's essential to work closely with your healthcare providers and insurance companies to coordinate benefits and ensure that your child receives the necessary care and support. Stay proactive in advocating for your child's needs and keep communication lines open with all parties involved.


For any questions or guidance on navigating the process of accessing DDD, AHCCCS, and ALTCS services for your child with autism, feel free to contact Sami's Angels ABA Services. We are glad to help provide some guidance on the process and ensure your child receives the best possible care.


By understanding and accessing the resources available through DDD, AHCCCS, and ALTCS, you can help ensure the best possible care and support for your child with autism in Arizona.

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