Who is part of my child’s team?

If your child is receiving services through Early Intervention (AzEIP) or DDD, you will get to know some, if not all of these professionals:

  • Board Certified Behavior Analysts (BCBAs): BCBAs are Master’s or Doctorate-level professionals who assess, implement, and evaluate procedures to help individuals learn new skills and reduce challenging behaviors. BCBAs are certified in the area of Applied Behavior Analysis and supervise all programs and providers in homes that receive HBM or insurance services. Every facility who provides HBM services are required to have a BCBA in their facility (the only exception is if a Psychologist is in place) http://www.bacb.com
  • Board Certified Assistant Behavior Analysts (BCaBA): BCaBAs work directly below the BCBAs and may supervise programs. These professionals may have either a Master’s or Bachelor’s degree http://www.bacb.com
  • Habilitation Provider – Master’s Level (HBM): A provider who holds a Master’s degree ABA or a related field and graduate level training in behavioral analysis.
  • Habilitation Provider – Bachelor’s Level (HBB): A provider with a Bachelor’s degree in ABA or related field and 2 years of full time experience in behavioral therapy.
  • Habilitation Provider: A paraprofessional who provides behavioral and adaptive therapy in a one-on-one setting under the program prescribed by DDD. Goals addressed by the habilitation provider can be gross and find motor, social skills, self-help skills, play skills or communication.
  • Respite Provider: A person who provides temporary relief for families by assisting in the daily caregiving routine when the typical caregiver is not able to. Respite can be provided on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis until the individual no longer qualifies for services.
  • Occupational Therapists (OT): A therapist that helps individuals improve their fine motor skills such as writing and cutting, as well as teaching daily living skills to increase independence and active participation in life. OTs work in a variety of settings, including homes, schools, in the community, and private practice. http://www.nbcot.org
  • Physical Therapists (PT): A professional who helps individuals improve muscle strength, balance, coordination and gross motor skills. PTs work in a variety of settings, including schools, homes, outpatient rehabilitation clinics, and private practice. http://www.apta.org
  • Speech Language Pathologists (SLP): SLPs evaluate, diagnose, and treat speech, language, communication, and swallowing disorders. Speech therapists help individuals improve their articulation, understanding and use of language, conversation, and social skills. They may also assist in the selection and development of augmentative and alternative communication devices. Some SLPs have been certified to provide Feeding Therapy to strengthen eating habits and assess any oral motor deficits present. SLPs work in a variety of settings, including schools, homes, hospitals, and private practice. http://www.asha.org/
  • Case Managers/Support Coordinators: Case Managers are the primary contact and coordinator of services for a child receiving services through the Division of Developmental Disabilities (DDD). They are responsible for releasing and distributing the child’s hours to the servicing agency, assessing reports to determine the amount of services each individual should receive.


Who can diagnose an ASD?

  • Developmental Pediatricians: medical doctors who receive specialty training in developmental behavioral pediatrics after completing a residency in pediatrics. Developmental pediatricians participate in multidisciplinary teams to evaluate an individual for a suspected diagnosis. They provide medical and behavioral oversight as a child ages and transitions between educational settings abp.org
  • Neurologists: physicians who specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of neurological disorders, such as epilepsy and autism. Neurologists participate in multidisciplinary teams to evaluate an individual for a suspected diagnosis. They conduct brain imaging tests and provide medical recommendations for various neurological conditions. aan.com
  • Psychiatrists are physicians who specialize in treating mental health disorders. They have training in diagnosis, medical care, and psychotherapy. Psychiatrists may be involved in the prescription and oversight of certain medications. Psychiatrists work in hospital settings and private practice. abpn.com
  • Psychologists are clinicians who treat a variety of common problems. They may provide parent training and support, as well as assist in addressing the needs of a family. School psychologists are typically masters-level professionals who specialize in psychology as it relates to education, and they help children both academically and behaviorally. School psychologists often conduct educational assessments. Psychologists work in school settings, hospitals, and private practice. apa.org


What kind of treatment/cure is available?

There are a number of therapies used to treat behaviors associated with Autism including social-skills training, applied behavior analysis, speech therapy, occupational therapy and physical therapy.  Medication is also used for associated conditions such as neurological, gastrointestinal, genetic or mood disorders.

HOPE Group, LLC focuses on intensive behavioral therapy known as Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA). See our Service page for more information on ABA.


What do I do now?

If your child was diagnosed with Autism in the past three months, you are eligible to receive a free toolkit from Autism Speaks.  This toolkit gives you detailed information on what to expect while dealing with ASD, what to look for in service providers, and contact information that may be useful to you.



If you want more information, check out some local and national resources:

A Parent’s Guide to Autism Spectrum Disorder Web: http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publications/a-parents-guide-to-autism-spectrum-disorder/index.shtml

Arizona Early Intervention Program Phone: 602-532-9960 OR 888-439-5609. Web: https://www.azdes.gov/AzEIP/

Arizona Department of Education, Division of Developmental Disabilities Web: https://www.azdes.gov/developmental_disabilities/

Arizona Department of Education, Exceptional Student Services. Web: www.azed.gov/special-education

Arizona Autism Coalition Web: http://azautism.org

Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System (AHCCCS) ASD Advisory Committee Report of Recommendations Click here to download report

Autism Society of Greater Tucson Phone: 520-770-1541. Web: www.autismsocietygreatertucson.org

Autism Society of Greater Phoenix Phone: 480-940-1093. Web: www.phxautism.org

Autism Speaks Web: http://www.autismspeaks.org/

AZABA: Web: http://www.azaba.org

Cerebral Palsy Guide: Web: http://www.cerebralpalsyguide.com

Cerebral Palsy Guidance: Web: http://www.cerebralpalsyguidance.com/

Dads for Special Kids Web: http://dads4specialkids.org/

Learn the Signs. Act Early. Ann Mastergeorge, Arizona’s Act Early Ambassador Phone: 520-621-6933 E-mail: amastergeorgge@email.arizona.edu Web: www.cdc.gov/ActEarly

National Center for Autism Resources + Education Web: https://www.disability.gov/resource/national-center-for-autism-resources-education-ncare/

Phoenix Children’s Hospital Web: http://www.phoenixchildrens.org/medical-specialties/barrow-neurological-institute/programs-services/autism

Raising Special Kids Phoenix: 602-242-4366 Flagstaff: 928-444-8834  Tucson: 520-441-4007 Yuma: 928-444-8803  Toll Free: 800-237-3007. Web: http://www.raisingspecialkids.org/

Southwest Human Development Phone: 602-266-5976. Web: http://www.swhd.org/

Special Olympics Arizona Phone: 602-230-1200. Web: www.specialolympicsarizona.org/

4 Paws for Ability Web: http://4pawsforability.org/autism-assistance-dog/