FARGO — The North Dakota Association for the Disabled has debuted a program to help families cope with service gaps for children and adults with autism spectrum disorder.

Through the Autism Spectrum Assistance Program, assistance is possible with medical travel expenses and respite services when other payment options are not available for families through local, state or federal programs.

Qualifying individuals receive gas cards for out-of-town medical travel for appointments, including occupational, physical, speech/language and behavioral therapies and psychiatric appointments.

NDAD may also assist with up to eight hours a week of respite care expenses.

Those interested must complete an application and qualify based on NDAD guidelines. For application information, go to https://NDAD.org or contact the nearest NDAD office.