You may be puzzled and anxious about what to do next if you just found out that your child has or may have autism spectrum disorder (ASD). A diagnosis of ASD can be particularly overwhelming for any parent. It’s natural to feel lost and confused if you’re a parent trying to figure out the best treatment for your child. Several therapeutic approaches can help your child develop essential skills and overcome challenges. Your child’s unique needs can be met through various resources, including no-cost government services, in-home behavioral treatment, and school-based programs.

Every parent should value making well-informed choices for their children, but the decision-making process is already challenging without your child’s diagnosis. Some families may not realize that their financial and insurance options vary by state. Economic status, population density, and autism advocacy groups in a state’s capital may contribute to regional treatment gaps.

Cost can be another factor. All states and D.C. have autism statutes mandating health insurance to cover autism therapies, but coverage varies. Massachusetts has no age restriction for coverage, although Mississippi ceases benefits at eight years old and many others between 18 and 21. Oklahoma and a few other jurisdictions limit service hours to 25 per week, and 23 states limit yearly benefits.


Autism Speaks called Massachusetts one of the finest states for autism services. A 2014 statute created a panel to address the long-term needs of autistic individuals. The commission estimates expenditures for all ages of autistic persons, including ABA therapy. The Massachusetts Autism Commission analyzes programs and support systems to help autistic people attain their full potential, live independently, and find jobs. Boston is in the top 10 greatest cities to live for autism because of its closeness to public and private services and education.

New Jersey

New Jersey has an autism assistance network for families. Autism Family Services of New Jersey recommends programs, schools, treatments, and residential homes for ASD patients in New Jersey. In August 2009, New Jersey passed autism insurance reform. It covers autism screening, diagnosis, and doctor-prescribed therapies. Evidence-based intervention therapies, physical therapy, occupational therapy, and speech therapy are all included.

New York

New York, like the other cities on our list, has both public and private educational options and a wide variety of programs providing access to services, including speech and language therapy, occupational therapy, applied behavior analysis, and more. Autism-friendly museums, events, sensory gyms, and playgrounds abound for families with autistic children. New York City offers the ideal combination of venues to take your child and family for some fun and to get the expert guidance and assistance you need.

Reach out to your local community to connect with other autism families and get more information about local services that offer your child autism-specific assistance and opportunities. Don’t forget to check in with your local school district to see what amenities they can offer your child.

The Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has showcased an Agencies and Organizations page with valuable resources categorized by state to help you find the best options in your local jurisdiction.

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