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If you're new to the Poconos or have a newly diagnosed child with ASD...

Many people have either just received a diagnosis or have just moved here and are looking to find out what to do next. The following should help you get services started for your child.


In Pennsylvania, nearly everything required for special needs health is paid for through the Medical Assistance (MA) program run by the Department of Public Welfare (DPW). If approved, MA will provide you with an ACCESS Card. In order to qualify for MA, your child needs an assessment that shows a significant delay in 2 out of 4 key functional areas. The assessment needs to be done by a recognized physician or psychologist. An ASD diagnosis is not sufficient or even necessary. Details on the qualifications are located in the publications listed below.

If you're new to PA, expect that you'll need a new evaluation, which may not agree with one you've received previously. Even within PA the Departments of Public Welfare and Education have different criteria and classifications for similar things. The state to state variation is likely to be more diverse.

In order to apply for MA benefits download the PA form 600 and fill it out. You can either bring the completed form to the Monroe County Assistance Office or you can use the answers to fill in the online COMPASS application.

Monroe County Assistance Office
Business Route 209 South at Tanite Road
P.O. Box 232
Stroudsburg, PA 18360-0232

Behavioral Health Rehabilitation Services (BHRS or "Wraparound")

BHRS is funded and managed through Health Choices in Monroe Carbon and Pike counties by Community Care Behavioral Health Organization.

Some of the services that may be included in Wraparound are:

Community Care maintains the list of recognized psychologists and service providers. Although the number of service providers in the area is growing it is nowhere near the the level of demand.

Educational Needs

Early Intervention

Aged 0 to 3 services provided through Carbon-Monroe-Pike MH/DS.

Early Intervention Preschool Services

Aged 3 to school-aged provided through Intermediate Unit 20 (IU20).

Special Education

School-aged (5 to 21) provided by your school district and IU20. School districts have the responsibility to educate all children living within their district borders. They offer services for all children with disabilities in a variety of ways. Some children with disabilities are educated in classrooms in their home school by school district personnel. Some services are brought to the disabled student in their home school by the Intermediate Unit 20. Other classrooms are operated by the IU 20 throughout the county. Classrooms may be in your child's home school, another school within the district or possibly even in a neighboring school district.

Key Publications

The following organizations provide great material for determining your rights and the best ways to get appropriate services. There are many more publications available than the few listed here.

PA Health Law Project

Education Law Center

ELC Publications

Updated on: 03-Jan-2014