State infant/toddler program policies for eligibility and services provision for young children with autism.

Administration and policy in mental health

PubMedID: 16758329

Mandell DS, Stahmer AC. State infant/toddler program policies for eligibility and services provision for young children with autism. Adm Policy Ment Health. 2007;34(1):29-37.
The importance of early developmental and behavioral treatment for children with autism is increasingly recognized. Little is known, however, about early intervention policies that may affect service delivery to these children. The current study describes states' policies for providing early intervention services to children with Autistic Spectrum Disorders under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act Part C and examines how Part C policies are associated with the proportion of school-age children diagnosed with autism served under IDEA. Results indicate few consistencies among states in policies and practices regarding the identification and care of infants and toddlers with autism. The implications of state variation for policy makers are discussed.