Ohio's Interagency Work Group on Autism | Resources and Services

Resources and Services

Education and Development Resources

Ohio has public resources to help preschoolers learn, develop, and grow.

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Health, Mental Health, and Disability Benefits

Families can find several public resources to assist in getting access to and coverage for, health care, mental health services, and disability benefits.

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Resources and Supports

There are various public resources for the support needs of families caring for young children. Find informational materials and training, service locators, child care information, legal assistance and more.

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Preschoolers > Education and Development Resources

Preschool Special Education

The public school district is responsible for providing special education programs for preschoolers, ages 3-5, with disabilities, following the Operating Standards of the Ohio Department of Education.

Who's Eligible?

Programs and services are offered to children who have been identified through a multifactored evaluation as having a disability using one of the following categories from the federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act:

  • Autism
  • Cognitive disability
  • Deaf-blindness
  • Deafness
  • Developmental delay (only ages 3 through 5)
  • Emotional disturbance
  • Hearing impairment
  • Multiple disabilities
  • Orthopedic impairment
  • Other health impairment
  • Specific learning disability
  • Speech or language impairment
  • Traumatic brain injury
  • Visual impairment

Services can include:

  • A multi-factored evaluation, at no cost to the parents, that is done by professionals from the school district to determine how the child is doing and if the child is eligible for specially designed instruction and services
  • An Individualized Education Program (IEP) developed with a team of individuals including the child's parents
  • Specialized instruction to meet the preschoolers strengths and needs, which can occur in a center-based special education program or through an option called "itinerant services" which may happen in the home, a public preschool, kindergarten, community-based preschool, or child care program

Who should I contact?

Contact your local school district. Ask to speak to someone in the special education office. For additional information, click here.

Ohio Department of Education Autism Scholarship Program

The autism scholarship program gives parents a choice of sending their child to a special education program, other than the one operated by their child's school district, to receive services outlined in the child's Individualized Education Program (IEP). The Scholarship provides funds up to $20,000.

Who's eligible?

An eligible student must be identified with autism, enrolled in their public school district of residence, have a current and agreed upon IEP, and have no administrative or judicial mediations or proceedings pending regarding the IEP.

Who should I contact?

For an application or more information on the Autism Scholarship Program click here.

Or contact:

Office for Exceptional Children
(614) 466-2650
Toll-free: (888) 644-6338

The Ohio Medicaid Schools Program (MSP)

The MSP program is coordinated jointly between the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services (ODJFS) and the Ohio Department of Education (ODE). MSP is a way for school districts, community schools, and other contracted entities to be reimbursed for Medicaid-covered services provided through an Individualized Education Program (IEP) for Medicaid-eligible students. These services include occupational therapy, speech-language pathology services, physical therapy, specialized transportation, and more.

Who should I contact?

For information contact SchoolMedicaid@ode.state.oh.us.

County Board of Developmental Disabilities (CBDD)

CBDDs are found in every Ohio county. They provide a wide range of services and supports to more than 75,000 children and adults with developmental disabilities. In some counties, preschool special education may be available at a County Board -operated location, as well as other supports and services.

Who's eligible?

A child with at least two developmental delays or an established risk. (Established risk means a condition that has a high probability of resulting in a delay or disability).

Services can include:

Services for preschoolers vary by county depending on local resources and may include:

  • Preschool special education, under the Operating Standards of the Ohio Department of Education
  • Support for families and school districts to help with a child's educational services, such as assisting with transitions between important stages
  • Service and support administration (SSA), which is like case management, and can help families plan and coordinate services better
  • Assistance for families in accessing Medicaid Waivers (waivers are another way that Medicaid can pay for services so an individual with long-term needs can be cared for at home)
  • Family Supports Services, for things like adaptive equipment, respite, home modifications, special diets, and more
  • Parent support and education opportunities

Who should I contact?

To connect to the County Board of Developmental Disabilities in your county, visit http://odmrdd.state.oh.us/contacts/countyboards1.htm and click on County Board Roster.