Intensive Support • Ages 0-3 • Goal:

Get Early Intervention Services

Action step 1.

Know your child’s rights about early intervention services.

Early intervention (EI) services help children with disabilities learn skills to use in school and later in life.


Government programs offer EI services for free or at reduced cost. Find out about the laws in your state and what your insurance has to pay for. EI services are covered in all states for children up to age 3.

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Words to know

Action step 2.

Find a provider to evaluate your child.

To be diagnosed with autism, your child needs to see a specialist. The specialist may be a:

  • Developmental pediatrician
  • Child neurologist
  • Child psychiatrist
  • Child psychologist


The diagnostic evaluation can take several sessions to ask you questions and review your child’s behavior and development.

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Words to know

Action step 3.

Find a provider for your early intervention evaluation.

If your child is diagnosed with autism, they need a separate evaluation to see if they’re eligible for early intervention (EI) services. Getting services is based on their skills, not their diagnosis. You, your child’s health care provider can request the EI evaluation.

To find a provider for your child's evaluation:

  • Ask your child's health care provider.
  • Go to the CDC website and look for your providers in your state or territory.

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Words to know

Action step 4.

Work with your state Early Intervention office to find an EI specialist.

All children are unique with their own strengths and challenges. Contact your state EI office to find an EI program for your child with the right supports and opportunities for growth.

When it’s time to transition out of early intervention, the EI program must work with you to create a tailored plan to ease your child’s move to a new school or classroom.

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Action step 5.

Find out about your health insurance.

If you have health insurance, find out about the laws in your state and what autism services your insurance has to pay for. Providers in your plan are called in-network. Your insurance company can give you a list of in-network providers and explain costs to you.

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Words to know

You’ve reached the end of the action steps for this support level and age group.

  • To find services and providers in your area, visit our Resource Guide.
  • For direct contact with a member of our Autism Response Team, call 1-888-AUTISM2 (1-888-288-4762) or en Español 1-888-772-9050.
  • Send an email to: help@autismspeaks.org.