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Health Benefits, Medical + Psychological Services

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Ability Connection Texas

Ability Connection Texas (AC) provides a full range of services to families and individuals with a variety of disabilities, ethnicities, and socioeconomic backgrounds throughout Texas and New Mexico. AC offers clients programs and services with a number of Medicaid Waiver services, including adult day habilitation, residential services and care, group homes, case management, and in-home support, in addition to a number of non-Medicaid Waiver services including physical, occupational, and speech therapy.

The Callier Center for Communication Disorders

The Callier Center provides group and individual therapy, speech and communication therapy, and evaluation services to individuals with ASD and their families. The Callier Center offers services and programs to both adults (Young Adult Social Communication Groups) and children (Preverbal Communication Program, Early CLASS, and Summer Camps) with ASD.

UT Southwestern and Children's Health Center for Autism Care

UT Southwestern and Children's Health Center for Autism Care provides a team approach to deliver comprehensive care that addresses children's needs, offering comprehensive care and transitional medicine to individuals with ASD and neurodevelopmental disorders. Services include diagnostic evaluations for ASD, assessments in pediatric neurology, behavioral intervention, psychiatric care, speech and language evaluation and therapy, and educational assessment support.

Dallas Children's Advocacy Center (DCAC)

DCAC coordinates the investigation, prosecution, and medical and psychological services for child and their non-offending family members affected by sexual or physical abuse or exposed to violent crimes. DCAC houses the Child Abuse Unit of the Dallas Police Department, six units of CPS, and the Dallas County Assistant District Attorney and partners with Dallas County Southwestern Institute for Forensic Sciences, Children’s Health, and UT Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas Department of Pediatrics.

Early Childhood Intervention (ECI) Metrocare Service of Dallas

​ECI is a state and federally funded program in North Texas that provides a home- and community-based program of supports and services for families and children up to three-years-old. ECI offers a number of services including family support and training, linking services, screenings and assessments, and developmental therapies.

Metrocare Services of Dallas

Metrocare is a state and federally funded program in North Texas that provides a variety of services to children and adults with mental disorders and disabilities. Metrocare offers a number of medical and mental health services including behavioral health care, primary care centers, accessible pharmacies, housing and support social services, and therapy. Metrocare accepts Medicare, Medicaid, and private insurance.

MOSAIC Family Services, Inc.

Mosaic Family Services offers comprehensive and culturally sensitive services to individuals and families in North Texas. Their shelter, Mosaic House, offers emergency housing, comprehensive case management, legal services, immigration assistance, medical care, counseling, educational opportunities, and many others to women and children affected by domestic violence, human rights abuse, and human trafficking.

Personalized Family Solutions, LLC

Therapeutic and Educational Consulting provides individualized solutions for therapeutic placement & educational resources for adolescents and young adults.

The UNC TEACHH Autism Program

TEACCH Autism Program offers a number of trainings nationally and internationally, and provides consultation to professionals who work with individuals with ASD. TEACCH also provides a number of clinical and adults services to individuals living in the North Carolina.

Local Disability Contact

The Texas Special Education Information Center (SPEDTex)answers your questions about special education by phone, email, or live online chat

  1. Government Health Benefits and Insurance Programs

You can call the Texas Department of Insurance (TDI) for help and advice at 800-252-3439 or 512-463-6515 in Austin. You can also visit TDI’s website to ask questions or file a complaint against your insurance program.

Dial 2-1-1 or for statewide programs and services

For children 0-3 years old, call the HHS Office of the Ombudsman (ECI) at 877-787-8999, find your nearest ECI (Early Childhood Intervention) program, and learn more about ECI

Top 10 Things to do when you learn your child has a disability or special need according to Navigate Life Texas:


When your child gets a diagnosis of a disability—or when you simply suspect they may have a special health care need—you have questions. What should you do now? Who do you contact? What’s next? What will allow your child to live the healthiest, happiest life possible?

Our experts believe the following ten tasks will set your family up for long-term success.

  1. Get a Formal Diagnosis.
  2. Seek Services and Resources.
  3. Place Your Child on the Interest Lists for Medicaid Waivers in Texas.
  4. Take Care of Yourself.
  5. Create a Vision for Your Child’s Life.
    • Think in detail about how your child can have a good life. Write it down. What are your hopes and dreams for them now and in the future?
    • Think big. Don’t limit your vision to what’s available now.
  6. Trust Your Instincts.
    • You’re the best expert on your child’s need, wants, and personality.
    • If something seems wrong, you’re probably right. Seek support and expertise.
  7. Don’t Be Afraid to Ask Questions.
  8. Learn About Programs and Services for People with Disabilities.
  9. Learn About Your Insurance.
    • Call your insurance company and ask them what they cover (and what they don’t). Ask about specific therapist, specialists, timing, etc.
    • Ask what the lifetime cap is (if any).
  10. Learn About the Future.



Health Care Benefit Programs + Insurance for Children with Disabilities (Navigate Life Texas)

Having health coverage is usually the best way to help with expensive medical costs. 

There are 2 main types of health coverage: private insurance that you or your employer can purchase and government programs. 

Keep in mind that health insurance itself and federal programs such as Medicaid and CHIP are different, though many parents might refer to them both as insurance.

From Navigate Life Texas: Government health benefits and insurance programs might help your family get health coverage or insurance at little or no cost or pay for care your other health insurance might not cover.

Read about the different types of programs below, and see if they might be able to help your family.

  • Medicaid: Medicaid is a government program that provides medical services for people who meet certain income or disability requirements. See our Medicaid page to learn more about the different types of Medicaid programs offered in Texas.

  • Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP): A program that offers coverage to children age 18 and younger at low cost. The fees depend on family income levels.

  • Children with Special Health Care Needs (CSHCN): A state program that offers extra health care benefits for children under the age of 21 who have disabilities, children who have special health care needs, and people of any age who have cystic fibrosis. You can learn more about CSHCN on our Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) page or by visiting the CSHCN program’s website.

  • Medicare: A government insurance program for people age 65 and older, and if they meet the requirements, for people age 18 and older with disabilities or special health care needs.

  • Health Insurance Premium Payment (HIPP): A program that helps families pay for health insurance if someone in their family gets Medicaid and if someone in their family can get private health insurance through their job.

  • Supplemental Security Income (SSI): A government program that is based on financial need and helps pay for living and health care expenses for children with disabilities and special health care needs. If you are approved to get Medicaid, you also can be approved to get SSI.

  • Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI): A benefit for your adult child where they get a monthly payment based on their own or their parents’ earnings if they (or you) have paid enough Social Security taxes.

  • Waivers: Waivers let states use Medicaid funds to offer long-term home and community-based services to people with disabilities and special health care needs – and people who are elderly – in order to help them live in the community. Waivers are not a kind of insurance. Unlike other programs, many waivers are based on your child’s, not your family’s, income. You might have to wait a very long time to get waivers, so it’s best to sign up as soon as you can.

How to Apply for SSI for a Child (Navigate Life Texas)

Start by reading about SSI online or visit your nearest Social Security Administration office to gather forms, ask questions, and get ready to apply. You can find the office using the Social Security Office Locator.

If your child is age 17 or younger:

  • Download or ask for the Child Disability Starter Kit.

  • Once you have read through the Starter Kit, fill out the Child Disability Report.

  • Next, you will need to gather the school and medical forms asked for in the Starter Kit as well as other important documents (see list below).

  • Call the Social Security Administration at 1-800-772-1213 (or 1-800-325-0778 if you are deaf or hard of hearing) and make an appointment for an interview in your local office. You will be asked to show your proof and paperwork and answer questions about your child, including questions that are in the Child Disability Report.

How to add your child to Interest Lists (Navigate Life Texas)

From Navigate Life Texas

You do not have to prove your child is eligible before adding them to the waiver interest lists. 

Your child will go through this process once they move to the top of the list. 

Only then is the eligibility information reviewed and used to decide if your child can enroll.


  • Call 1-877-438-5658 for information about putting your child on an interest list for long-term services. This is for the CLASS, DBMD, and MDCP waivers. See the section below for details about each of these waiver programs.

  • Call your Local Mental Health Authority about the Youth Empowerment Services (YES) waiver program. Go to the DSHS website to find the Local Mental Health Authority in your area.

  • Call your Local Intellectual and Developmental Disability Authority (LIDDA) to get your name on the interest list for the HCS and Texas Home Living Waiver programs. You can search for your LIDDA’s telephone number.

Texas Medicaid Waivers (Navigate Life Texas)