The Delaware Autism Program (DAP) is a statewide, public school program for students with autism. DAP provides educational, vocational, respite, and residential services to students with ASD ages 2-21 years of age. DAP emphasizes direct teaching in the community and natural environments and is guided by the techniques of applied behavior analysis (ABA). Services are provided to students in 6 of the 19 school districts across three counties in Delaware, plus other specialized services and supports provided by DAP’s Office of Statewide Director.
The Delaware Department of Education (DOE) offers specialized services or educational supports to eligible students with disabilities to ensure children with disabilities are successful in the classroom and beyond. DOE ensures eligible students have access to, participate in, and make meaningful progress in their education. On the DOE website for special education, you can find out information regarding requesting an evaluation, understanding and confirming eligibility of services, and developing an Individualized Education Program (IEP).
The Arc of Delaware is a chapter of national organization that promotes and protects the human rights of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. The Arc celebrates diversity and self-determination and actively supports full inclusion and participation in the community. The Arc provides housing, employment, outreach, and social and recreational programs to individuals with disabilities and their families in addition to advocating for public policy change in Delaware.
Child Development Watch (CDW) is a statewide early intervention program for children ages birth to 3. CDW provides services to families to help enhance the development of infants and toddlers with disabilities or developmental delays and support the family in meeting the needs of their children. Services include screening and evaluation services, family training and counseling, nutrition plans, nursing services, service coordination, speech-language therapy, and occupational therapy.
The Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (DVR) is located in the Delaware Department of Labor. DVR helps people with disabilities prepare for, obtain and maintain employment by offering individualized and person-centered services. Services include on-the-job training, rehabilitation technology, skill training, job placement assistance, and job coaching. For students in Delaware, DVR offers School to Career Transition Services, to prepare students for future careers.
The Delaware Division of Substance Abuse and Mental Health (DSAMH) is located under the Department of Health and Social Services (DHSS). DSAMH serves adults (age 18 and older) in need of behavioral health services. Services include crisis intervention supports, mental health and substance abuse treatment, prevention support, counseling, peer support, and inpatient treatment, among many others.
Delaware’s Department of Health and Social Services (DHSS) works to ‘improve the quality of life for Delaware’s citizens by prompting health and well-being, fostering self-sufficiency, and protecting vulnerable populations’. There are 11 divisions within the Department including Medicaid and Medical Assistance, Developmental Disabilities Services, Substance Abuse and Mental Health, and Prevention and Behavioral Health. DHSS and its divisions offer a variety of services and supports for people with autism and their families. Services offered and eligibility is different for each department.
Learn the Signs. Act Early is a program from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and aims to improve early identification of children with autism and other developmental disabilities so children and families can get the services and supports they need. Families can learn about developmental milestones, understand how to address concerns with their provider, and use free resources to support their child such as a milestone tracking app or easy to use developmental checklists. Resources are also available for healthcare providers and early childhood educators through “Learn the Signs. Act Early”. You can contact Sarah Mallory at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more.
The Division of Developmental Disabilities Services (DDDS) provides community-based services including residential supports such as support living and respite, family services, day habilitation, and pre-vocational, vocational and supported employment. DDDS also offers case management, therapy, nursing and other professional supports to ensure individuals with ASD and their families are able to lead full and productive lives.
Delaware Family Voices (DEFV) is a federally-funded organization led by parents of children and young adults with physical, developmental and mental health challenges. DEFV helps families of children with special needs to become informed, experienced, self-sufficient advocates for their children and families. Their website, the Family to Family Health Information Center, provides information about resources, trainings, and workshops available for families and children with special needs.