Frequently Asked Questions

1. How do I know what services would be best for my child?

When you are trying to determine what services are best for your child, you might consider the following:

What does the report from my child’s evaluation say?  If the evaluation is recent (in the past year), you can refer to the list of recommendations from the evaluation team or from a qualified professional that knows your child.

What do the therapeutic professionals that see my child recommend?

Do I know about Evidenced based practices?  It can be helpful to be familiarize yourself with evidence based practices for children with autism.  Evidence based practices are interventions that research has determined to be effective for children with ASD.  You can find more information about evidence-based practices at The National Professional Development Center on Autism

I know what services I am looking for, but how can I find the local resources or know how to navigate the service system?  In New Mexico, you can call the Autism Family and Provider Resource Team at (800) 270-1861 or (505) 272-1852.

2. How can I support my child during an IEP and what are the 11 considerations?

Where can I find out more information about an IEP or how to advocate for my child? 

Parents Reaching Out and EPICS (Educating Parents of Indian Children with Special Needs) are helpful resources for families in New Mexico regarding the IEP process including training and parent to parent connections. 
For more information about Parents Reaching Out call (800) 524-5176 or (505) 247-0192. 
For more information about EPICS call (888) 499-2070 or (505) 767-6630.

What are the 11 considerations and why is it important for me to know about them? 

In 2011, Governor Martinez mandated that at every IEP for a child who has a diagnosis of ASD, should include a discussion about the “11 considerations”.

The 11 considerations would include a discussion about the following: 

    1. Extended educational programming
    2. Daily schedules reflecting minimal unstructured time and active engagement in learning activities
    3. In-home and community-based training (or viable alternatives) that assist with acquisition of social/behavioral skills
    4. Positive behavior supports
    5. Futures/transition planning
    6. Parent/family training and support
    7. Staff-to-student ratio
    8. Communication interventions
    9. Social skills supports
    10. Professional educator/staff support
    11. Teaching strategies in peer-reviewed and/or research-based practices

For more information about the 11 considerations, go to IEP Considerations for Students with Autism Spectrum Disorders or for informational briefs on this subject or other resources, call the Autism Family and Provider Resource Team at (800)270-1861 or (505)272-1852.

If family members or self advocates want to learn about leadership and advocacy, they can consider Partners in Policymaking which is a program at UNM Center for Development and Disability. To apply for Partners in Policymaking or for more information, contact the Autism Family and Provider Resource Team at (800) 270-1861 or (505) 272-1852.

3. How can I connect with other parents who have children with ASD?

The New Mexico Autism Society offers many activities and events that allow parents and families of children with ASD to connect with each other. 
For more information about The New Mexico Autism Society call (505) 332-0306.

Parents Reaching Out and EPICS (Educating Parents of Indian Children with Special Needs) have parent to parent programs where they connect parents with other parents who are in similar situations. 
For more information about Parents Reaching Out call (800) 524-5176 or (505) 247-0192. 
For more information about EPICS call (888) 499-2070 or (505) 767-6630.

4. Mi hijo tiene autismo, donde puedo encontrar información en español sobre autismo?

Información telefónica que abarca todo el estado; para familias, personas con Trastorno del Espectro de Autismo (TEA), y proveedores en busca de recursos específicos sobre autismo.  Un equipo de especialistas en recursos que puede apoyar a personas con TEA, a familias y proveedores en la búsqueda de recursos específicos sobre autismo y además ofrecen asistencia para “entender y utilizar el sistema”:  (505) 272-1852  ó  al teléfono  gratuito: 1-800-270-1861.

5. My child was recently diagnosed with autism and I want to know how I can learn more about what autism is.

The Autism Programs at the Center for Development and Disability offers a variety of training throughout the state of New Mexico. The training team is composed of experts in the field of autism. Every year, the training team focuses on a specific region in the state. Most trainings are no cost for family members.
For the training calendar, go to The CDD Autism Site or call (800) 270-1861 or (505) 272-5304.

The Autism Programs also has online webinars and E-courses available.

The Autism Programs now offers online E-Courses that you may take at any time to gain more knowledge regarding topics focusing on Autism Spectrum Disorder. The courses are presented in an interactive module that offers the user an opportunity to explore the topic through an instructor led facilitation of topic information, quizzes, resources and games. Certificates of completion with be provided upon successful conclusion of the course.

The UNM Center for Development and Disability has a specialized library with disability related books, videos, DVDs, journals available for the public.
For more information, visit the CDD Information Network Library Website:  or call (844) 231-5003.

There are many websites that can offer information about autism like the Autism Society of America, or Autism Speaks. Autism Speaks has several tool kits available on their website including a 100 Day Kit for families of children ages 4 and under to make the best possible use of the 100 days after their child’s diagnosis, and tool kits on other important topics such as adolescence, sleep issues, visiting the dentist, and blood draw tool kit. Parents might be careful in seeking information on the internet, because there might be websites that have information about interventions that are not research based and not proven to be effective for children with autism.

The Autism Programs have created many briefs on a variety of topics including visual supports, red flags, educational priorities and other topic areas. To access these briefs or for any other specific autism resources or information, you can contact the Autism Family and Provider Resource Team at (800) 270-1861 or (505) 272-1852.

6. As an adult with autism where can I find more information about community opportunities such as advocacy, recreational programs, and other resources?

How can I learn about being a self advocate?

The New Mexico Center for Self Advocacy is a program with the New Mexico Developmental Disabilities Council, located in Albuquerque, that helps individuals with developmental disabilities meet, organize, work, and train others. Their goal is to support people to be empowered, make their own decisions, speak up for themselves and others, and take control of their own lives. They also endevor to create awareness about disability issues and achieving maximum independence and quality of life.
For more information, you can visit the Center for Self Advocacy Website or contact (505) 841-4571.

The ARC of New Mexico supports People First advocacy groups throughout the state of New Mexico. These groups are run by and for people with developmental disabilities.
For more information, you can visit the ARC of New Mexico Website or contact (800) 358-6493.

Partners in Policymaking is a program at UNM Center for Development and Disability for individuals with disabilities, families and a small number of community members. It is an intensive leadership and advocacy program that occurs over 3 days for 3 months.
To apply for Partners in Policymaking or for more information, contact the Autism Family and Provider Resource Team at (800) 270-1861 or (505) 272-1852.

What are some of the recreational or community opportunities that support individuals with ASD?

The Recreational Program at the Autism Programs can offer fun community activities that provide inclusive social-recreational programs for adolescents and adults with ASD. Examples include (but are not limited to): Drumming, Tick Talk, Yoga, Archery, Fishing. Some of the ongoing programs are Just For Kicks Martial Arts, Theatre-in-the-Making, and Adaptive Kayaking.
For more information about these programs and others, contact (800) 270-1861 or email Full-Spectrum-Rec@salud.unm.edu.

Camp Rising Sun provides opportunities for an exciting camp experience for children and teenagers with ASD and their peers while offering respite for family members. There is also the opportunity for young adults 18 and up who have an Autism Spectrum Disorder to become Camp Assistants. As a Camp Assistant, young adults will learn positive work habits and responsibilities in support of camp.
For more information about Camp Rising Sun, contact (505) 272-5142 or Visit their website.

The New Mexico Autism Society offer community activities for teenagers, adults with ASD, and their families.
For more information about The New Mexico Autism Society call (505) 332-0306.

For additional resources and information, you can contact you can contact the Autism Family and Provider Resource Team at (800)270-1861 or (505)272-1852.

7. My child is under the age of 3 years old, and I have concerns about my child’s development but I don’t know if it is autism. Where do I start?

The New Mexico Family Infant Toddler (FIT) Program is a state and federally funded program for families whose child is under the age of three that has or is at risk for a developmental disability or delay to receive early intervention services. It is not necessary to determine a diagnosis or a delay prior to referral. Simply the fact that you or the family is concerned about the child’s development is enough to generate a referral.
For more information about the FIT Program, visit their website at www.fitprogram.org or call toll-free at 1-877-696-1472.

The Early Childhood Evaluation Program (ECEP) provides evaluations for children ages birth to three living in New Mexico. ECEP addresses concerns regarding developmental delay, complex medical conditions, autism spectrum disorders, cerebral palsy, behavioral/regulatory issues, and other specialized evaluation questions for very young children.
For more information please contact ECEP at: (505) 272-9846 or toll-free: 1-800-337-6076.

Autism Spectrum Evaluation Clinic at the CDD provides diagnostic evaluations for ASD or related conditions for children over the age of 3.
For other questions or resources related to a diagnosis of ASD, call the Autism Family and Provider Resource Team at (800) 270-1861 or (505)272-1852.

The Autism Programs Parent Home Training (PHT) is a no-cost, short-term educational program funded by the NM Department of Health. Families learn to help their child develop and gain new skills through individualized in-home consultation.
For more information about Parent Home Training, call (505) 272-4725 or 1-800-270-1861.

If your FIT providers or preschool program is seeking training or consultation specific to young children with autism, they can contact Project SET (Specialized Early Teaching). Project SET is a training and technical assistance program offered to professionals working with children with autism in early intervention programs or preschool programs throughout the state of New Mexico.
For information about Project Specialized Early Teaching call (505) 272-1852 or 1-800-270-1861.

8. I am Special Education teacher with student who has autism. How can I learn more about autism or how to best support the student?

The Autism Programs at UNM/CDD offers autism specific school related services including trainings, consultation and conferences including the Summer Institute and the Preschool Institute for school personnel. 
For more information about School based services, call (505) 272-1852 or (800) 270-1861.

The Autism Programs at the CDD offers a variety of training throughout the state of New Mexico. The training team is composed of experts in the field of autism. Every year, the training team focuses on a specific region in the state.
For the training calendar, go to The Autism Programs Website or call (800) 270-1861 or (505)2 72-5304.

9. How can I find out about possible summer activities available for my child?

Camp Rising Sun offers an exciting camp experience for children and teenagers with ASD and their peers while offering respite for family members.
For more information about Camp Rising Sun, contact (505)272-5142 or http://www.cdd.unm.edu/camprisingsun

The Recreational Program at the Autism Programs can offer fun community activities that provide inclusive social-recreational programs for adolescents and adults with ASD. Examples include (but are not limited to): Drumming, Tick Talk, Yoga, Archery, Fishing. Some of the ongoing programs are Just For Kicks Martial Arts, Theatre-in-the-Making, and Adaptive Kayaking.
For more information about these programs and others, contact (800) 270-1861 or email Full-Spectrum-Rec@salud.unm.edu.

The New Mexico Autism Society offer community activities for teenagers, adults with ASD, and their families.
For more information about The New Mexico Autism Society call (505) 332-0306.

At your child’s IEP, you can ask to discuss the possibility of extended school year services and the IEP team will make this determination. Your child’s teacher will need to take data prior to the IEP to show that your child regression after returning from a break (either the weekend or holiday).
For more information about these services and parent rights, you can refer to the Parents Reaching Out Publications or call Parents Reaching Out at (800) 524-5176 or (505) 247-0192.

Keep in mind that a discussion about extended school year services should occur at your child’s IEP because it is one of the “11 considerations”. The 11 considerations are a mandated discussion to occur during the IEP for a child who has a diagnosis of ASD.
For more information about the 11 considerations or for informational briefs on this subject or other resources, call the Autism Family and Provider Resource Team at (800) 270-1861 or (505) 272-1852.

10. My child is about to transition into adulthood; what should we consider at this time and who can support us?

There are many considerations during an individual with ASD’s transition into adulthood. Some of the areas include:

Education

At age 18, the individual with ASD will have the option of continuing until age 22 in receiving school transition services. This determination will be make during the IEP Transition Meeting.

For more information about transition options in the educational system, contact Parents Reaching Out at (800) 524-5176 or (505) 247-0192.

If the individual plans to attend college, they can seek support from the college’s office of accessibility. They would need to have a 504 from the high school and meet the eligibility requirements.

Guardianship

Prior to age 18, the individual with ASD and the family will determine if the individual will be their own guardian or if they will be seeking guardianship.

If you have questions regarding this process, you can contact the Developmental Disabilities Planning Council Guardianship Program at (505) 841-4549.

If you need additional assistance, you can also contact the Autism Family and Provider Resource Team at (800) 270-1861 or (505) 272-1852.

Advocacy

The New Mexico Center for Self Advocacy is a program with the New Mexico Developmental Disabilities Council, located in Albuquerque, that helps individuals with developmental disabilities meet, organize, work, and train others. Their goal is to support people to be empowered, make their own decisions, speak up for themselves and others, and take control of their own lives. They also endevor to create awareness about disability issues and achieving maximum independence and quality of life.
For more information, you can visit the Center for Self Advocacy Website or contact (505) 841-4571.

The ARC of New Mexico supports People First advocacy groups throughout the state of New Mexico. These groups are run by and for people with developmental disabilities.
For more information, you can visit the ARC of New Mexico Website or contact (800) 358-6493.

Employment

Department of Vocational Rehabilitation (DVR) can assist in supporting employment or pre-employment skills for individuals with ASD, age 14 and older. If you are in High School, you can ask your school team to connect you with DVR. You can contact the local DVR office in your area.

There is additional information including tip sheets and videos on the CDD Information Network website, CDD Information Network website.

The CDD Partners for Employment is a collaborative approach to increasing employment outcomes for individuals with intellectual or developmental disabilities. They offer training and events that build capacity within the state of New Mexico among state agencies personnel, service providers, family members, self-advocates, employers and other supports in regards to employment. They also support Project SEARCH which is an innovative school-to-work internship program that gives young adults with disabilities the opportunity to learn marketable job skills to help them gain employment.
For more information visit the Partners for Employment website.

Social Security Income (SSI)

When an individual with ASD turns 18 year old, they might be eligible for SSI which allows individuals a monthly check to pay for their basic needs and access to Medicaid.
For more information about SSI, you can refer to the How To Apply For Supplemental Security Income tip sheet.

Other Considerations or Resources

For additional resources and considerations, you can contact the Autism Family and Provider Resource Team at (800) 270-1861 or (505) 272-1852.

The following are probably the most common questions but the answers are unique for each family and person with ASD:

Can you help me find an ABA Provider and how do I know if they qualified?

I live in a rural area and looking for services. Can you help?

How can I support my child during an IEP and what are the 11 considerations?

Who can help me with my child’s behaviors?

My child’s services have ended. Where do I go now? (In situations of providers leaving or in times during a transition).

My child is transitioning into adulthood; What do I need to know?

I am an adult with autism. Where can I find services and how will they get funded?

Can you help me to find therapies in my community?

Can you help to find recreational activities in community?

Mi hijo tiene autism,donde puedo encontrar informacion en espanol sobre autismo?

Family & Provider Resource Team