About Autism Projects

Missouri Autism Project Region Map

What are the Missouri Autism Projects?

Missouri’s Autism Projects are five regional projects that provide autism programs and services to individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and their families.  Funded through the Missouri Department of Mental Health’s Division of Developmental Disabilities, the Autism Projects provide supports and services to approximately 4,000 families statewide.

The Autism Projects were established in 1991 as a pilot program.  Families in rural Missouri worked with the Missouri legislature to secure funding for autism-specific family support.   Regulations were established in 1999 (9 CSR 45-3.060) and legislation was passed in 2009 (633.220 RSMo) to establish at least five regional Autism Projects.  Each regional Autism Project has a Parent Advisory Council (PAC) comprised of individuals with ASD or family members of individuals with ASD.   The PACs make program recommendations to the Department of Mental Health for the provision of ASD services.

What Services Do Autism Projects Provide?

633.220 RSMo specifies the services that may be provided through the Autism Projects. Regional PACs make specific recommendations regarding services available in a particular region.

Autism Project Services may include but are not limited to:

  • Behavior Management Training & Supports
  • Occupational Therapy, Sensory Integration Therapy
  • Communication & Language Therapy
  • Information & Referral Assistance
  • Parent or Caregiver Training
  • Public Education & Information Dissemination
  • Consultation on Individualized Education & Habilitation Plans
  • Contemporary and Emerging Evidence-based Practices
  • Assessment
  • Life Skills
  • Music Therapy
  • Advocacy Training
  • Crisis Intervention
  • Respite Care
  • Staff Training
  • Social Skills Training

 Requesting Autism Project Services

All requests for services must be initiated through the Department of Mental Health Regional/Satellite Offices. Visit the DD Regional Office map to locate your regional office and contact information based on your county of residence.

To be eligible for Autism Project services, an individual must be eligible to receive services from the Division of Development Disabilities and have a diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder. Before requesting Autism project services, it is highly recommended that individuals compile any documentation they may have regarding the applicants conditions. Recommended documentation includes:

  • Documentation of professional and clinical assessment(s) and recommendations—including autism diagnosis if available;
  • Evaluations, education plans, and other related educational documentation that identifies challenges or recommendations;
  • An assessment for intervention planning from the diagnosing clinician. (An assessment for intervention planning is described in Autism Spectrum Disorders: Missouri Best Practices Guidelines for Screening, Diagnosis, and Assessment.
  • Other relevant information that will allow staff to coordinate services that are individualized and targeted to the needs of the applicant and family.