How to Get Grants for Children with Autism

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Autism grants for kids may help pay for learning equipment, safety measures, supplements, biomedical treatments, therapies, and sometimes specialized child care. These private and government grant programs are set up to off set costs in caring for a autistic child. Grants are typically paid to the service provider not to the family. Some grant for autistic children will be need based while other grants will be measured on the individual child's need.

  • To buy equipment to teach and make a home safe for a autistic child apply for mini grants with community based organizations that offer help to children. To get started go to www.autismcares.org.

  • Grants for assistance with Summer Camp, youth programs, sport programs and other activities can be found through various resources. While there are few grants designed just for the autistic child for extra curricular activities the funds usually fall short. In many cases autistic children or other children with special needs will be favored in scholarship programs for nonprofit and private groups. In most cases all you have to do is ask. For instance the YMCA, boy and girl scouts, and the boys and girls clubs all offer fee waivers for kids with disabilities due to grants they receive as a organization. Just remember the limits of your child, you may have to make special arrangement to make sure your child is comfortable and safe. You may have to give tips to staff on how to teach your autistic child. Do not be afraid to contact camps and activities directly created for autistic children, many times camps receive grant money from foundations to serve children who can not pay for services.

  • To help pay for health care if families income makes to much to qualify for Medicaid, sign up for the Katie Beckett Waiver or Deeming Waiver program at your local family service center. The program is set up for kids with disabilities. The waiver takes the family income out of the picture and looks at the income/assets of the child. If the child qualifies for the waiver and are approved most of the autistic child's health care costs will be paid for. If the child does not qualify for the free program ask to be signed up for the TEFRA Option under Medical Assistance program. The program is a lot easier to get into and offers similar benefits to the other programs but requires the family to pay a small fee.

  • To pay for expenses to diagnostic testing prior to diagnosis for children suspected to have autism contact the Children with Special Health Needs (MCSHN) organization. Program gives grants to pay for glasses, hearing aides, and dental care. Grant money given is based on family's income.

  • To pay for travel expenses to take your autistic child to therapy, specialist, and doctor appointments talk to your family services counselor. You must keep a log of what dates you will be traveling, where you will be going and why. A doctors not is usually required. Be prepared that you will probably have to go to the office closest to you residence. If you are picking a provider not just based on the location you will have to show hard facts on why you must go to that location or the grant may not cover the expenses.

  • For free in home therapy for kids under the age of three contact your local Early Childhood Intervention Center. They help with early intervention and will teach parents steps they can take to help their children on a daily basis. School therapy is a free service offered through most public schools that is funded through state and federal grant funding. Schools are required to give individual and group therapy sessions to school aged children with autism and various other disabilities. which I have little faith in after sitting in on sessions. Schools may receive grant funding to allow students to attend school through summer months that have trouble retaining what they learn.

  • For a extra monthly check to help pay for expenses consider signingup for SSI. Supplemental Security Income will send a monthly check to families who are caring for children of severe developmental delays. Some autistic children may fall into this category. Assistance is based on income but if you are considering staying home to take care of the child with autism the check from SSI can really off set costs. To sign up go to the local Social Security office. Take with you: physician records, therapy records, and any other tests that show your child is developmentally disabled.

  • If you need help taking care of your autistic child in your home. A grant for a Personal Care Assistant is available in some areas of the US. Your case worker through family services can help you decide what type of Assistant your child can qualify you for. In some cases even family members may be able to be paid to be the personal care assistant. http://www.cga.ct.gov/2001/rpt/olr/htm/2001-r-0796.htm

  • A Family Support Grant from the social services department helps pays for costs such as computers, special clothing, special diets, equipment needed, transportation expenses, and medicine. You must first get a referral through family services.

  • Grant programs that provide Home/Community-Based Services Program and Community Living Assistance & Support Services are set up to help a autistic adult child learn to live in a group or independent setting. Waiting lists are long so make sure to sign up for the program at least a year before such services will be required. In some instances I have seen a individual on the list for up to two years.

  • Needing financial assistance? The Helping Hand Program created by The National Autism Association has created a grant program specifically for families of children with autism who are in financial crisis. www.nationalautismassociation.org

  • Contact the program ACT Today at potential.act-today.org to apply for grants to cover family expenses spent to accommodate the needs of a autistic child.

  • Autism Speaks (www.autismspeaks.org) also offers family services grants for projects in the areas of education, recreation/community activities, equipment/supportive technology, and young adult/adult services.

Tips & Warnings

  • Most autistic grants do not pay for daily living expenses. With all the missed work trying to go to therapy appointments and other training programs finances can be tight. Do not forget to look up other organization that can help with daily living expenses. For longer term help contact your local family service center for health care for kids, food assistance, and referrals to other assistance programs. Also visit www.modestneeds.org for help on individual needs.
  • Autism grants for autistic children under the age of 18 through agencies like the National Autism Association, United Health care Childrens Foundation, and more. The grant is used to help offset the medical bills associated with autism. The grant is paid directly to the medical vendor, which helps ease the financial burden associated with autism.
  • Agencies such as family services have a lot of programs and participants to keep track of. It is not possible for agents to know all programs that can help your child. Take it upon yourself to search out grant programs and educate your program provider as needed.
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