Types of services

Here are the basic kinds of services you could get from each system.

In some cases they overlap between the different systems. 

Medical or Health System

  • Tracking development through regular checkups with your doctor

  • Tests, screenings and assessments 

  • Treatment for medical and emotional problems

  • Referral to other supports

Educational System

  • Services and educational support for kids with disabilities age 3-21

  • Different kinds of therapy to help with their development. (See the box below to learn more about therapies.)

  • Specialized education in school 

  • An evaluation to see if they qualify

Government Benefits

  • EarlySteps (Services for kids age 0-3 with developmental delays)

  • Special Education (Educational supports for kids age 3-21)

  • Healthy Louisiana (Medicaid) health insurance program

  • Medicaid Waivers

  • Support from the Office for Citizens with Developmental Disabilities (OCDD)

  • SSI: Supplemental Security Income (cash benefits for people with disabilities and low income)

Note: To get the government benefits, your child must qualify.

There are many different types of therapy that can help children with developmental delays.

They can work on different parts of their development.

Here are some of the most common examples:

  • Behavioral Therapy - A therapist helps to encourage positive behaviors and discourage unwanted ones. Desired behaviors are broken down into small tasks to build skills. 

  • Developmental Therapy - A therapist uses relationship and the child's interests to build the areas of development that a child needs help with. These include things like relating and communicating or logical thinking.

  • Speech and Language Therapy — A therapist (sometimes called an SLP, or Speech and Language Pathologist) helps with communication skills at all levels.  These include talking, understanding others, and also non-verbal ways to communicate.

  • Physical Therapy (PT) — A therapist works with your child to improve muscle strength, coordination, and movement. 

  • Occupational Therapy (OT) — A therapist uses movement to help your child to develop the motor, cognitive and emotional skills they need for the things they do. A child's "occupations" include play, self-care (like eating and dressing), social engagement, and eventually academic activities like writing. 

    • Sensory Integration - This is a part of OT where kids learn to experience and process sensory information (sounds, tastes, touch, etc.) in a way that doesn't upset them.

Any of these may be helpful to your child. It depends on their unique mix of challenges and strengths.

Source: Autism Research Institute

Learn more about all these services in the other sections in the menu!