Parents and caregivers of older children sometimes find it difficult to know what to do if their child is too old for early intervention services. If your Child is older than 36 months and has aged out of early intervention services, there are other resources available for you.
A child older than 36 months could still be eligible for other services. Your first step? Make sure you have the right diagnosis. Check in with your pediatrician for possible resources and to get a correct medical diagnosis. At the same time, you can also reach out to your local school division if you suspect your child has a disability, like autism. Even though your child may have a medical diagnosis, the school division will still need to determine educational eligibility. And they can confirm if your child qualifies for special services through the school system, which are free of cost in Virginia. If you need help navigating the resources in school districts, you can contact the Virginia Department of Special Education https://www.doe.virginia.gov/directories/index.shtml#div or an advocate who knows how to navigate the available resources available like Early Childhood – PEATC.
Even if your Child has aged out of early intervention services, they could still be eligible for services and benefits through medical insurance. Some of these services may include speech and language therapy, applied behavior analysis, and occupational therapy. The key is to start as early as possible (while the brain is still growing). But, keep in mind, it is never too late.
Navigating these resources can be tricky. However, there are online resource databases and people who can help. CA Human Services has one such database. You can access the resource page here: https://www.commonwealthautism.org/resources/ for statewide resources of all ages, not just those who have aged out of early intervention services. If you prefer to talk with someone live, you can also reach out via phone 800-649-8481. CA Human Services has also partnered with No Wrong Door Virginia, a statewide network of shared resources that streamlines access to long-term services and supports. https://nowrongdoorvirginia.org/
Early intervention services in Virginia are coordinated through The Infant and Toddler Connection of Virginia. This serves children ages 0 to 36 months. If you are interested in learning more about The Infant and Toddler Connection of Virginia, you can go to: https://www.itcva.online/.
Is your child an older teen or young adult? Has your child graduated high school or are they nearing graduation? CA Human services works to fill the gaps of young adults who need just a little extra help. With three programs for adults, readiness program, independent living home, and a community support program, CA may have a program for you or your young adult. Contact CA to see if we are the right program for your needs. Visit the CA Human Services website.