If you suspect your child has a delay in development, autism or an autism spectrum disorder (ASD), the first step is to gather information and become more educated about what to expect. There are several good internet resources for information on child development include:
- The Department of Health and Human Resources (DHHR), Center for Disease Control and Preventions (CDC), National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities (NCBDDD)
For general information about child development: click "Child Development" under the "Child Development and Parenting" heading.
For information specifically about autism: click on “Autism Spectrum Disorder” under the "Child Development and Parenting" heading to go to the CDC's Autism Information Center.
Click on the “Family and Friends” tab.
If, after reading, you continue to have concerns that your child may have autism or any developmental delay, make an appointment to see your child’s Primary Care Provider (PCP), the provider who oversees care for your child. The PCP may also be known as the primary Care Manager (PCM). You can help your PCP by providing a copy of “Early Warning Signs of Autism” and talking about it at the appointment.
After calling to make an appointment with your child’s PCP, also call the local Early Intervention Services (EIS) agency. To find out how to contact the EIS Agency in your area go to:
Center for Parent Information and Resources(CPIR) previously The National Dissemination Center for Children with Disabilities (NICHCY).
Click on “Find Your Parent Center” and select the state where you are living now.
If your child is not yet 3 years old, contact the people listed under “Services in Your State for Infants and Toddlers”
If your child is 3 years old or older but not yet in school, contact the people listed under “Services in Your State for Infants and Toddlers”
If your child is in school, contact the people listed under “State Department of Education: Special Education”
NOTE: Military families living on base where there is a Department of Defense (DoD) school will receive services from the Educational and Developmental Intervention Services (EDIS) team from the local military treatment facility (MTF). Call the EDIS Office or the MTF Information Office or Customer Service Center for assistance. Military families that live off base and military families living in an area were there are no DoD schools must call the local Early Intervention Services Agency.
You can read about the EDIS program at:
- Military One Source (now merged with Military HOMEFRONT). Type “EDIS” in the search field.