Children with autism spectrum disorders

The 2013 Minnesota Legislature passed a law to create a new Medical Assistance autism early intensive intervention benefit for children from birth to18 years with autism spectrum disorder. Later amendments added children with related conditions and young adults up to age 21. The purpose of the benefit is to provide autism-specific, medically necessary treatment for children, parent training and support to improve long-term outcomes and quality of life for children and their families. 

News and events

Provider enrollment starts for new autism benefit

Beginning July 1 the Minnesota Department of Human Services will enroll providers to deliver a new early intensive intervention Medical Assistance benefit for children and young adults with autism spectrum disorder and related conditions. Families and children will be able to access services later this summer.

Under the new benefit, covered services will be designed to improve social interaction, communication and behavioral regulation skills at a critical time in development, promoting fuller participation by children in their family, schools and community life.

Families interested in the new benefit should contact their county, tribe or managed care plan.

More information is available in a news release and on an autism benefit question/answer page.

DHS offers training sessions on the new autism benefit

Several sessions are scheduled for potential providers during June. You may attend in-person or through a webinar using your computer. More information is available on the autism benefit training page.

Minnesota receives federal approval for new autism benefit

DHS received federal approval of the state plan amendment for the new autism benefit (PDF) on March 27, 2015. The approval provides federal funds to match state dollars for the benefit. See the DHS news release.

Over many months, DHS gathered input from the broad and diverse community of Minnesota autism stakeholders. In addition, DHS consulted with local and national experts to define the benefit before asking for federal approval. Additional conversations with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services clarified and helped to refine the benefit.

DHS expects to roll the benefit out this summer.

Pathways to Services to Children with ASD

Before approval of this new benefit, DHS developed an information sheet to help families learn about what services are available now and how to find them for children with autism spectrum disorders. We will update this information sheet after the new services are available. 

Sign up for the autism spectrum disorder electronic mailing list

The autism spectrum disorder mailing list is the main way to share information about recent developments and updates to the ASD Web content.

Reports related to autism available

Minneapolis Somali Autism Spectrum Disorder Prevalence Project Community Report 2013 (PDF)
Autism Spectrum Disorders: Report to the Minnesota Commissioner of Human Services, Feb. 13, 2013, (PDF)
The Study on Housing with Supports for Children with Severe Autism, Jan. 20. 2013, (PDF)

Report on Early Intervention Services for Minnesota's Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders, Dec. 31, 2012

The Autism Spectrum Disorder Task Force Strategic Plan Report, December 2012 (PDF)
The Report of the Minnesota Senate Autism Task Force, Jan. 15, 2011, (PDF)

More information

Email questions to DHS autism spectrum disorders.

Autism spectrum disorders
Possible signs of ASD

Evaluation / Diagnostic assessment


Pathways to services for children with ASD
Pathways to services for children with ASD (Hmong)

Pathways to services for children with ASD (Somali)
Pathways to services for children with ASD (Spanish)
Programs and services

Health care insurance

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