Beginning June 1st, families with children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder can apply for autism voucher program services through the North Dakota Department of Human Services.
Katherine Barchenger with the Human Services Department says the program is for children ages 3 through 17, and can pay for respite care services for family caregivers, assistive technology, tutoring and other services.
"The reason for this program is so that families that don't qualify for Medicaid or other services that will help that child, will have an opportunity to have access to equipment and supplies for that child to help calm them down, make them successful at home or school, or out in the community, and less stress for the family."
Barchenger says the vouchers are good for up to $12,500 per child. She says last year, the average voucher expenditure was just under $4,400. Barchenger says to qualify a family must prove an income that does not exceed 200 percent of the federal poverty level. She also says children who already receive services through a Medicaid waiver do not qualify. Barchenger says applications will be available online June 1st at the Department of Human Services website, with services for the year beginning July 1st.