57% of families with a child on the autism spectrum reported that a family member cut back on or stopped working to care for their child. This compares to 21.6% of families of children with special health care needs reporting the need for a family to cut back on work, or stop working. National Survey of Children with Special Health Care Needs

Mothers of children with autism earned, on average, less than $21,000 a year, the researchers found. That was 56% less than mothers whose children had no health limitations and 35% less than mothers whose children had other health limitations.

In addition, moms who have children with autism are 6% less likely to be employed, and work an average of seven hours less per week than mothers of children with no health limitations, the study found. 

Families of children with autism experience a 28% reduction in income compared to families with typically developing children. The family incomes of parents whose children have autism is also less, 21%, than those whose children have other health limitations.

A mother may cut back work hours or drop out of the workforce to help supervise their child's care, including advocating for services, according to the researchers. 

Source: David Mandell, associate director of the Center for Autism Research at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia and associate director of the Center for Mental Health Policy and Services Research at the University of Pennsylvania, in Philadelphia.

It is common for a family to spend $600-$800 per week, per child on the spectrum for therapies and services.

43% of families with a child on the autism spectrum say their child's health condition has caused financial problems for the family. This is more than double the number of families of children and youth with special health care needs, who report financial problems (19.6 %).  National Survey of Children with Special Health Care Needs

One in 45 children in Katy has been identified with
an autism spectrum disorder;

share the hope.

Medicaid Providers, Waivers, Grant & Scholarship Programs:

Speech & Occupational therapy clinics accepting Medicaid; Medicaid Interest Waivers; grant and scholarship information.

Therapy Clinics who accept Medicaid:

Phyllis Berenberg, MS, CCC-SLP
5621 Dolores Street
Houston, TX 77057
Experienced with autism, language delay, articulation, fluency and social skills. Insurance and Medicaid accepted.Monday-Friday (9:00 AM – 7:00 PM) and Saturday (9:00 AM – 5:00 PM).

Faith Pediatric Rehabilitation
Faith Stilen
1500 Jackson Street, Suite 300
Richmond Texas 77469
P: 281-344-808
F: 281-344-1807
Faith Pediatric Rehabilitation is a private pediatric clinic offering Occupational Therapy, Speech Therapy, Physical Therapy and Aquatic Therapy. In addition to private therapy offices, their facility is equipped with a fully stocked kitchen used for language therapy and feeding intervention, two sensory gyms containing ball pits, a rock climbing wall, swings and other climbing equipment as well as a heated therapeutic pool used during Aqua therapy. Accepts Medicaid.

Kid's Developmental Clinic - West
Stacy Grazak, PT, DPT
11777 Katy Freeway
Houston, TX 77079

8021 Bissonnet Street
Houston, TX 77074

3801 Vista Road, Suite 200 
Pasadena, TX 77504

They strive to provide the best possible therapy services for their patients. They feel that it is vitally important that children with delays and disabilities are provided with Developmental Therapy tailored to their specific needs. This therapy should be provided as early as possible in order to help these children achieve their maximum potential. Services include home health services. Accepts Medicaid.

Medcare Pediatrics
Katherine Scarmardo
Stafford: 12371 South Kirkwood Road
Stafford, TX 77477
Northshore: 4818 E. Sam Houston Pkwy N
Houston, TX 77015
Spring: 21004 I-45 North
Spring, TX 77373
Katy: 21210 Kingsland Blvd.
Katy, TX
They offer PT, OT, speech therapy, feeding disorders, play therapy, counseling and behavioral health services to children throughout the Houston metropolitan area, aged birth through 21 years old. Services include both Home Therapy & Outpatient Therapy Services. Therapists have advance training in Interactive Metronome, Fast ForWord, and augmentative or alternative communication methods. They provide free transportation to all their outpatient rehab centers, for those in need. Accepts traditional Medicaid.

Pathfinder Pediatric Home Care, Inc.
281-364-9695, (888) 364-9695
318 Briar Rock Road
The Woodlands, TX 77380
They provide in-home OT, PT and speech therapy. They accept Texas Medicaid, as well as many private insurance plans.

Speech Therapy Unlimited, PLLC
Dana D. Johnson, M.A., CCC-SLP, Vice President of Operations
Speech Therapy That Works
12808 West Airport Blvd., Suite 332
Sugar Land, TX 77478
281-746-3053 phone
877-396-9460 fax
Speech Therapy Unlimited is your source for Speech-Language Pathology Staffing and individual therapy services. We place Speech Language Pathologists and their assistants in area Daycare Centers, Elementary and Secondary Schools, Rehabilitation facilities, Senior Centers, Skilled Nursing facilities, and even your home.  Accepts Medicaid. 

The T.E.A.M. Approach & The Feeding Team, A Multidisciplinary Feeding Clinic
Sara McMahan
13150 FM 529, Suite 114     
Houston, TX 77041
Provides traditional Physical, Occupational, Speech Therapy and Aquatic services including Neuro-Developmental Treatment and Sensory Integration as well as Adolescent Sports Medicine and Youth Fitness. Multidisciplinary Feeding Clinic, Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC), Handwriting Without Tears™, Teen Social Group, Therapeutic Listening™, TheraTogs™, Vital Stim®. They accept Medicaid. Their feeding clinic team is comprised of a speech pathologist, occupational therapist, with support from a variety of other medical professionals as appropriate. Each child is evaluated to assess for the physical and/or sensory issues that may contribute to feeding difficulties. Each treatment plan is individualized to your child’s specific needs to facilitate positive eating experiences and behaviors.

Medicaid Waiver Interest Lists (waiting lists) Programs:

These services are administered by the Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services. These services are not available right away. Your child’s name must be placed on an interest list first, before eligibility is determined. The Access and Intake Services Community Options Booklet can be located at this site:

Medicaid-Waiver info: 
Medicaid is a health insurance program provided by the federal and state government to those who meet family income requirements (i.e. those who have a very low income—exactly what that income is changes with inflation but it's pretty low.) The federal government matches the dollars that the state is willing to put into its own Medicaid-eligible population.

Medicaid will only reimburse services provided by “licensed practitioners of the healing arts.”  This is a small but important detail. This means if there is a health service offered by someone like a dental assistant (who generally aren't licensed) they won't pay, but they will for a dentist, who is licensed.

The states quickly realized that some services were needed, but weren't appropriate to be licensed—like respite, etc. So they appealed to the federal government to create a waiver program.


The waiver program allows each state to design a program, a waiver, to serve whatever special population they saw a need to serve. Each waiver program can be designed any way the state wants to. Usually but not always the two requirements that are waived for persons with specific needs due to a disability of one sort or another are 1) family income requirement and 2) the license requirement for service providers. Often the waiver will use the individual’s income, which in the case of children is nothing—unless a grandparent or other relative has given them money under the Uniform Gift to Minor Act. A child with a disability should have no assets in their name—it should be in a special needs trust for this reason. By waiving the licensing requirement, the waiver could pay for services like day habilitation
or respite, or other therapies not covered by “traditional” Medicaid if those services are specified in the waiver.

That is why the waivers can be so confusing. Each one serves a different population:

  • CBS, is a waiver for adults with developmental disabilities, 21 and older.

  • CLASS, serves those with developmental disabilities, no IQ specification.

  • DBMDP, is a waiver for person with deaf/blind designations.

  • HCS, only serves those with IQ <70 or with autism IQ<75.

  • MDCP, serves those with medical needs (i.e. dependent on medical equipment or medication).

  • Texas Home Living is for people already receiving services funded by general revenue dollars through Mental Health Mental Retardation Agency—and this waiver does not waive the family income requirement, only the licensing requirement. 

Not all waivers are available in all counties in Texas. Not all waivers provide identical services or pay the same annual amount (they have different spending caps).

    Medicaid waivers are not easy to navigate. There is a maze of approved contractors, and hiring staff who are approved Medicaid providers, it’s often tricky to become an approved provider because Medicaid billing is very, very complicated. However, there are people who have been able to make it work to get extra services for their children.

    During the 83rd legislative session Texas Senate Bill 7, was signed into law on June 14, with an effective date of September 1, 2013. The new law means there will be sweeping changes to the system that provides health care and long-term services and supports (LTSS) to thousands of Texans with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD). The first changes will come in September 2013. The full redesign will roll out gradually through 2020. In those seven years, there will be plenty of chances to evaluate and make adjustments along the way by a new committee—the I/DD Redesign Advisory Committee. 

    The main goal of SB 7 is to give more people health care and LTSS suited to their personal needs in a cost-efficient way through managed care. It changes how the state manages and pays for services for people with I/DD who have Medicaid in these waiver programs: Texas Home Living (TxHmL), Home and Community-based Services (HCS), Community Living Assistance and Support Services (CLASS), and Deaf Blind and Multiple Disabilities (DBMD). It also affects medical services and LTSS in the Medically Dependent Children’s Program (MDCP).

    Voluntary enrollment in STAR+PLUS (the state’s Medicaid managed care program) for people in the DBMD, HCS, and CLASS waiver programs. People in a waiver program by 2020 can continue to get services through the waiver indefinitely, if they want. All others will get services through STAR+PLUS.

    A Comparison of the Medicaid-Waiver Programs 

    Right now, all waivers have a significant waiting list in Texas (e.g., 8 -10 years.) Anyone with 
    a child with autism sign-up for HCS, CLASS, and MDCP waiting lists today, with CLASS being the most urgently needed.

    Community Based Alternatives & DADS Home & Family Support (CBA)This program provides direct grant benefits to people who have physical disabilities and or their families to help them purchase services that enable them live in the community. Eligible people choose and purchase services that help them to remain in their own homes.http://www.dads.state.tx.us/services/faqs-fact/cba.html 877-236-6500.

    Community Living and Support Services (CLASS) serves those with developmental disabilities, but with no IQ specification. Services available: adaptive aids and medical supplies, auditory enhancement training, behavioral support, case management, continued family services, dental and dental sedation, dietary, habilitation, minor home modifications, nursing, occupational therapy, physical therapy, pre-vocational habilitation, respite care, specialized therapies, speech therapy, supported employment, support family services, transition assistance services. Provides home- and community-based services to people with related conditions as a cost-effective alternative to placement in an intermediate care facility for persons with mental retardation or a related condition (ICF-MR/RC). A related condition is a disability, other than mental retardation, that originated before age 22 and that affects the ability to function in daily life. http://www.dads.state.tx.us/services/faqs-fact/class.htmlCall for more information on and to place a name on the waiting/interest list: 877-438-5658. 

    Home and Community based Services Program (HCS) provides individualized services and supports to persons with intellectual and developmental disabilities that are living with their family, in their own home or in other community settings, such as small group homes. http://www.dads.state.tx.us/services/faqs-fact/hcs.html 

    In-Home and Family Support Program (IHFS) — Mental Retardation. This program provides direct grant benefits to people with intellectual and developmental disabilities or their families to purchase items or services that directly support the person to live in his or her natural home. http://www.dads.state.tx.us/services/faqs-fact/ifs.html


    Medically Dependent Children's Program (MDCP) Serves children and youth under the age of 21 years who have significant medical disabilities and would typically be eligible for nursing home care; provides respite, nursing, and home modifications. Available statewideMDCP provides services to support families caring for children and young adults who are medically dependent and to encourage de-institutionalization of children in nursing facilities.http://www.dads.state.tx.us/services/faqs-fact/mdcp.html telephone number for information and to place a name on the waiting/interest list call: 877-438-5658. 

    Texas Home Living (TxHmL) The Texas Home Living program provides selected essential services and supports to people with an intellectual disability or a related condition who live in their own home or their family's home. Services are available statewide.http://www.dads.state.tx.us/services/faqs-fact/txhml.html.

    For information and to place a name on the waiting/interest list, contact your local Mental Health/Mental Retardation Community Center. To find the center nearest you, call 512-794-9268 or 800-252-815 

    Update 6-14-2013:

    During the 83rd legislative session Texas Senate Bill 7, was signed into law on June 14, with an effective date of September 1, 2013. The new law means there will be sweeping changes to the system that provides health care and long-term services and supports (LTSS) to thousands of Texans with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD). The first changes will come in September 2013. The full redesign will roll out gradually through 2020. In those seven years, there will be plenty of chances to evaluate and make adjustments along the way by a new committee—the I/DD Redesign Advisory Committee.

    Medicaid medical benefits include basic services like doctor and hospital visits, medications, durable medical equipment, and supplies. If you are in one of the groups affected by these changes, your medical benefits may be transferred to the STAR+PLUS managed care company of your choice.

    What is STAR+PLUS?
    STAR+PLUS is a Texas Medicaid managed care program for people who have disabilities or are age 65 or older.

    Who will be affected?
    (Check out our
    Medicaid Medical Benefits Infographic to determine if you will be affected. http://tcdd.texas.gov/changing-medicaid-benefits-aug2014/) 

    If you receive your medical benefits from Medicare Part B — not Medicaid — this change will not affect you. However, you will be affected by this change if you DO NOT get your medical benefits from Medicare Part B AND

    • you live in a community-based intermediate care facility (ICF), or
    • you use one of the developmental disabilities waivers, such as
      • Home and Community-based Services (HCS),
      • Community Living and Supports Services (CLASS),
      • Texas Home Living (TxHmL), or
      • Deaf-blind Multiple Disabilities (DBMD).*

    Adults 21 and older, not also enrolled in Medicare Part B, will be required to get their medical benefits through a STAR+PLUS managed care company beginning on September 1, 2014.

    Children and young adults age 20 and younger may choose to get their medical benefits through a STAR+PLUS managed care company beginning on September 1, 2014.

    *You will continue to receive long-term care services and supports in your current DD program, community-based ICFs, and the four DD waivers. Only your medical benefits are being moved to managed care.

    **Please note that some advocates are recommending that children and young adults age 20 and younger continue to
    access medical benefits as they do today. All children and young adults age 20 and younger will be required to transfer to a STAR Kids managed care company in 2016.

    MHMRA Harris County
    3737 Dacoma
    Houston, Texas 77092
    The Skills Intervention Program (Skip) utilizes Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) techniques such as discrete trial teaching, positive reinforcement, and extensive data collection to increase the students' skills set. Each therapist is trained by a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) on how to implement the ABLLS (Assessment of Basic Language and Learning Skills), lead structured group activities, and provide effective one-on-one instructional time. ABA-SkIP is designed for children ages 3 - 10 years old with autism or developmental disabilities and delays in language, motor skills, academic skills, play skills, as well as, inappropriate classroom behaviors.

    Local area information can be found below:

    The Harris Center for Mental Health and IDD (intellectual disability/developmental disabilities)
    7011 Southwest Freeway
    Houston, TX 77074
    Main & Intake Line: 713-970-7000
    Website: http://www.mhmraharris.org/
    County served: Harris
    Harris County Psychiatric Center Liaison Team, http://www.mhmraharris.org/MRSD/mrteam.htm (713) 741-6998
    The liaison team, located at the Harris County Psychiatric Center (HCPC), serve as consultants for patients with mental retardation and/or autism.

    Texana Center
    4910 Airport Avenue 
    Rosenberg, TX 77471
    Intake Phone: 281-239-1363
    Main Phone: 281-239-1300 or 1-866-4TEXANA
    http://www.texanacenter.com/base_dd.cfm?Nav=DD or http://www.texanacenter.com/

    Email: information@texanacenter.com

    Counties served: Austin, Colorado, Fort Bend, Matagorda, Waller, and Wharton

    The Developmental Disabilities Services division provides a very wide array of services and supports to people with mental retardation and people with pervasive developmental disorders. They serve people of all ages from infants to the elderly. They serve two separate and distinct functions. As the state-designated Mental Retardation Authority for their six counties, they plan for the development of services to meet the needs of the people of these counties, determine eligibility and help people access services they need. They also function as a Service Provider, and in fact are the largest provider of services for people with developmental disabilities in their area. Texana Center services are provided to persons who qualify based on an evaluation of developmental disabilities needs. Call Texana’s Authority and Admissions Department at: 281-342-0090 or 281-239-1363 or 1-866-526-4437. A Texana Center Intake Coordinator will complete a telephone interview with you, and an Intake Packet will be mailed to you. You will be requested to complete an Intake Assessment and return it to Texana Center. If you need help completing the paperwork, a Texana Center Intake Coordinator will schedule an appointment and meet with you to complete the assessment. Copies of psychological tests completed previously for your family member will be requested by Texana. When Texana Center receives the completed Intake Assessment and copies of school or other records, Texana will schedule your family member for an Intake with one of the Department’s Psychologists. These meetings are at their Developmental Disabilities - Authority & Admission's Office.

    How do I get started? Here is a main link to searchhttp://www.dads.state.tx.us/services/contact.cfm

    Financial assistance links & Government benefits links: http://www.benefitscheckup.org/ and  http://www.benefits.gov/benefits/benefit-finder#benefits&qc=cat_1

    A listing of all DADS acronyms can be found on page 99 of the Access and Intake Services Community Options Booklet http://www.dads.state.tx.us/providers/community_options.pdf

    Consumer Directed Services (CDS), http://www.cdsintexas.com/

    CDS offers you the opportunity to direct your own attendant care. You become the employer and are responsible for recruiting, training, managing and firing your attendants. You hire a CDS agency, such as Disability Services of the Southwest (DSSW) http://dsswtx.org/, to provide you with orientation and ongoing support. The CDSA does your payroll and files your federal and state taxes. (The provider does have to go through a background check and the pay is $8–$12 per hour). DSSW offers CDS to consumers in the following programs:

    • Community Attendant Services (CAS)

    • Community Based Alternatives (CBA)

    • Community Living Support Services (CLASS)

    • Deaf-Blind Multiple Disabilities (DBMD)

    • Family Care (FC)

    • Home and Community-based Service (HCS)

    • Medically Dependent Children Program (MDCP)

    • Personal Care Services (PCS)

    • Primary Home Care (PHC)

    Disability Benefits Guide:

    Simply Dollar recently looked into the Social Security Disabilities Benefits and found that most people who have become or already living with disabilities are not fully aware of the benefits and resources that are available to them. So, our team spent weeks reviewing the US Social Security Administration's documentation to develop our 2016 Disability Benefit Guide. This guide breaks down qualifications and the application process, as well as a calculator that can help estimate monthly and annual benefits.

    You can see the entire guide along with some of its features here:

    Grants and Scholarship Programs:

    Autism Rescue Angels
    Lisa Graham-Garza, Founder & President
    Autism Rescue Angels is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit striving to provide immediate financial assistance to autism families in the Houston area for medical, educational or respite needs and to provide funding for programs benefitting those with autism spectrum disorder. Click on link to website to complete and submit online application. 

    Experise.com is a guide that aims to help make federal grants available to seniors, veterans, and disabled people much easier to understand and take advantage of, particularly for remodeling homes for accessibility. http://www.expertise.com/home-and-garden/home-remodeling-for-disability-and-special-needs

    Generation Rescue’s grant program provides the opportunity to pursue treating these underlying symptoms of autism.

    We understand that financial costs is often times the prohibitive reason from pursuing treatment, therefore, our grant program is available to individuals of ALL ages with an economic need.

    Each grant recipient receives:

    • Two doctor visits with a medical physician specially trained in treating autism
    • A 90-day supply of vitamins, minerals and supplements
    • Comprehensive Stool Analysis Lab Test
    • Urine Porphyrins Lab Test
    • A Generation Rescue Parent Mentor
    • Dietary intervention Training
    • The Listening Program®
    • Ongoing discounts on supplements and programs provided by our partners after completion of grant program https://www.generationrescue.org/member-log-in/join-grant/



    National Autism Association’s (NAA): Helping Hand Program was developed as a financial aid tool for families that need it most. The program helps qualified families pay for medical services used to treat individuals diagnosed with autism.http://nationalautismassociation.org/family-support/programs/helping-hand/


    Talk About Curing Autism (TACA) provides medical scholarships to families living with autism. These scholarships help families pay for physician-prescribed services, and include stop gap medical treatments, independent assessments, and other necessary crisis funding. We continue to work hard to find scholarship opportunities that will help eligible families speed up the cycle time from the autism diagnosis to effective treatmentshttp://www.tacanow.org/about-taca/taca-scholarships/


    Other Organizations With Grant Programs:

    Autism Cares assistance grant: http://www.autismcares.org/site/c.mqLOIYOBKlF/b.4745901/k.BD21/Home.htm

    ACT-Today at http://www.act-today.org

    United Healthcare Children’s Foundation at http://www.uhccf.org

    For help with food, housing, employment, health care, counseling and more; call 211 or click on www.211.org


    Blessed Be Hope for Three, Inc. 
    Darla Farmer, Founder

    11104 W. Airport Blvd., Ste. 150,
    Stafford 77477
    HF3 is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization supported exclusively by in-kind contributions, private and public donations and grants.  We are determined to expand autism awareness, empower and educate our families, improve early diagnosis and connect families to the care and support they deserve. 
    What type of assistance is awarded by Hope for Three? Family Assistance is typically awarded to fund various assessments, treatments,  services and supplies.  However if you need help funding another type of treatment or service not listed, please do not hesitate to apply.  Our Board will consider alternative treatments based on need that will help a family living with ASD.

    • Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA) Therapy
    • Bio-medical Treatment
    • Speech Therapy
    • Occupational Therapy
    • Physical Therapy
    • Social Programs
    • Auditory Integration Training (AIT)
    • Prescriptions/Medications
    • Special Diets
    • Educational Tools and Needed Supplies


    Susie Bean Gives Foundation


    Through our Texas Non-Profit Organization called susie bean gives, 60% of all profit from all our susie bean products and 100% of all donations from the community will go directly to thoroughly researched and approved service providers that allow susie bean gives to set up scholarships for families with children with mental illness or autism needing services but are unable to meet the financial demands. It is important to us that our profits and your donations directly benefit families in need. We do not want parents to deny their child life changing services due to lack of funds.

    Therefore, we will provide scholarships to foundations/charities/service providers that have the ability to:

    • identify families needing financial support for their child’s services,
    • are willing to offer our scholarships for necessary services to those families in need, and
    • will provide accurate, honest financial records regarding how our scholarships are allocated on a bi-annual basis.

    Our goal is to offer scholarships in every city around the world. Consequently, if you run a foundation or charity or provide services to children with mental illness or autism and would like to participate in our scholarship project and meet the above 3 criterion, please send a request letter to rlsalek@susiebean.com. Please outline the services you provide to either children with mental illness or autism and include your plan for meeting the above 3 criterion.

    If you are a family with a child with autism and/or mental illness needing a onetime scholarship to help supplement your income and help pay for necessary services for your child:
    1. Please give your service provider (psychologist, speech therapist, occupational therapist, music therapist, Behaviorist, or psychiatrist) our website and/or email address.
    2. Please have them contact us.
    3. We will send them a service provider agreement that must be filled out and returned to us with all information completed.
    4. Once we receive this agreement and the service provider is qualified (certified, licensed), we will send a scholarship to the provider for your child’s services.

    If you are a service provider wanting to participate in our program and offer those families in financial need with a child with autism and/or mental illness a Susie Bean scholarship:
    1. Please email us at rlsalek@drsalek.com.
    2. Please put Scholarship in the subject line.
    3. We will send you a service provider agreement that will need to be completed with your information, families’ information, and both your signature and family’s signature.
    4. Please scan and return to the same email address.
    5. If all information is completed and you are certified, licensed in your field in your state, we will send a scholarship check you office address.


    We truly want to acquire qualified service providers in every city that can identify families needing financial help and are willing to accept our scholarships. We have funds that we want to disburse and are waiting to hear from service providers and are waiting to receive completed agreements. Please spread the word. 


    May be able to provide assistance:

    Easter Seals - Greater Houston
    Elise Hough, CEO
    4500 Bissonnet, Suite 340
    Bellaire TX 77401
    713-838-9050, ext 332
    Email: www.ucphouston.org

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