1.  Talk to your child’s medical provider.  This is always the first place to start.  Not only does your child's PCP know them well, they also will need to order a referral for any follow up testing with a team.  Your child's PCP can  help you decide if your child needs to be referred for a specialist who works in the area of developmental (such as a developmental behavioral pediatrician, child psychiatrist, child psychologist).  You can also talk with them about the referral to Early Intervention or Early Childhood services.

2.  If your child is younger than 3 year of age, parents or professionals can refer the child to Arkansas First Connections Early Intervention Program to receive a free developmental assessment.  As a parent, you do not have to wait for a formal diagnosis from a medical provider to get started with this assessment.  You can call 1-800-642-8258 or following the link to this website:  https://dhs.arkansas.gov/dds/firstconnectionsweb/#fc-home.    Remember, you can make this referral yourself. 

3.  If your child is between the ages of 3 and 5 years, a developmental assessment may be obtained by contacting your local public school district or the Early Childhood Special Education office at the Arkansas Department of Education at 501 682-4221 or by clicking on the first link.   http://www.arkansased.gov/divisions/learning-services/special-education/policy-regulations/child-find

follow the second link to find the contact person in your part of the state:


4.  Your PCP can refer your child to a CoBALT site close to your home.  This will allow a screening evaluation to determine if your child may have autism and/or other developmental concerns.

5.  Your PCP or your CoBALT team may refer you for a more comprehensive developmental evaluation.  If you would rather have your PCP refer you for a comprehensive team evaluation, that can be accomplished as well.  This would be an evaluation through a center like the James L. Dennis Developmental Center.