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North Dakota taking applications for autism program

BISMARCK – North Dakota families of children diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder can now apply for a new voucher program that could help pay for certain services.

The pilot program was created by North Dakota legislators last year, and provides vouchers of up to $12,500 per year for each qualifying child to help families cover the cost of support, but does not cover early intervention or therapy services.

To qualify, a family’s gross income cannot exceed 200 percent of the federal poverty level, which is $39,580 for a household of three or $47,700 for a household of four. The voucher program is open to families of children ages 3 through 17 diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder.

Categories of covered services include assistive technology, language-generating devices, training and educational manuals for parents, sensory equipment, tutoring, safety or self-care equipment, and registration and expenses for workshops or training to improve independent living and social skills.

The voucher also can be used to pay for memberships and fees to organizations and specialized camps, and can pay for specialized care services.

For more information, visit www.nd.gov/dhs/

autism or contact Trisha Page, autism services coordinator for the Department of Human Services, at (701) 328-8949 or tpage@nd.gov.

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