The Developmental Disabilities Assistance and Bill of Rights Act

The Developmental Disabilities Assistance and Bill of Rights Act helps the estimated 5.4 million children and adults in the United States and territories who have developmental disabilities. It provides federal financial assistance to state, public and nonprofit agencies.


Self-advocacy is the civil rights movement for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities working together for justice.

Social Security Benefits

There are two main programs of social security benefits for children and adults who have disabilities. They are Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Retirement, Survivor’s, and Disability Insurance (RSDI).

Funding and Public Policy Intro

In general, people who have autism or other developmental disabilities tend to have additional needs for financial resources or opportunities as a result of additional costs (i.e. for health care services) that they may have over their lifetime.

Individuals with Disabilities Education Act

The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) is the federal legislation that entitles children with disabilities to a free public education. The law has been amended three times since 1975, when it was first enacted as the Education for All Handicapped Children Act.

Individualized Education Programs

The Individualized Education Program or IEP is a written statement describing a child with a disability’s learning goals and the supports that the school will provide to help the child achieve those goals. IEPs were first mandated under Education of All Handicapped Children Act in 1975 – now called the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).

State Assistance Programs for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) Recipients

Find information on State Assistance Programs for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) Recipients.

Early Intervention

Early intervention (EI) refers to services provided to infants, toddlers, and pre-school aged children with disabilities. Services provided in early intervention may include educational, developmental, behavioral, communication, occupational, physical therapies, assistive technology, and other related services.

Special Needs Planning

Individuals with disabilities, including those living with autism spectrum disorder, need guidance and support to integrate into their communities, as well as to be successful in schools and beyond. There are many types of programs out there including support groups, counseling and educational groups to help them adapt to their surroundings.

Support Programs

After a person has been diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder, a next step may be to find services that can support the person as they live, work, and interact in the community. Services can be provided through a wide array of local, state, and federal programs as well as through various private professionals and organizations that work in various fields, including medicine, education, and therapy. Services may vary depending on the age of the person with an autism spectrum disorder and their particular strengths and needs as well as on the ability or wishes of families of people with autism spectrum disorders to provide support within the family.