Get in-home care for autistic child (PCA)

Your family might qualify to get in-home care for your autistic child. A trained Personal Care Attendant (PCA) helps with daily activities like bathing and dressing.

If your child has significant needs, your family might qualify to get in-home help.

This would be a trained Personal Care Attendant (PCA) who would provide care for your autistic child with daily activities like bathing, dressing, and feeding.

If you have Medicaid and qualify for PCA services, they should cover a certain number of hours per week and help you find a PCA. To learn more, see the Health Insurance Guide.

How can I get in-home services?

  • If your child has Medicaid, call your plan and ask them about PCA services.

  • If not, see the Health Insurance Guide to apply for Medicaid. Children with autism should qualify even if your family doesn't. This can be a huge help!

  • The Department of Developmental Services (DDS) also has programs that can help you get PCA services. You must first apply and see if your child qualifies. Call your regional Family Support Center to ask about it. (Click on the titles to learn more. It will open in a new tab. Also see the page about DDS in the menu on the left. It's in the Connecting with Support section.)

Who qualifies?

It depends on the program, but usually an autistic child will qualify for care if they have "substantial functional limitations.”  This means they have trouble with everyday activities, learning, moving around, communicating, or self-care tasks.

Self-care tasks are also called ADLS: Activities of Daily Living. They include things like dressing, bathing, eating and using the bathroom. It depends on how old the child is, but if they are not able to do these things the way most kids their age can, they may qualify for PCA services.


Sources: Medicaid, Department of Developmental Services (DDS)