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Applying for Developmental Disabilities Administration Services can seem like a dauntinging task. It is worth it if you feel that your child will need help finding a job, assistance with money and shopping, and generally needs someone to help him or her navigate through life.

DDA Eligibility?

DDA Edibility is Based on the following WAC's: WAC 388-823-0015

How does the state of Washington define developmental disability?

The state of Washington defines developmental disability in RCW 71A.10.020(5).

(1) To qualify for DDA you must have a diagnosed condition of intellectual disability, cerebral palsy, epilepsy, autism, or another neurological or other condition found by DDA to be closely related to intellectual disability or requiring treatment similar to that required for individuals with intellectual disability which:

(a) Originates prior to age eighteen;

(b) Is expected to continue indefinitely; and

(c) Results in substantial limitations.

(2) In addition to the requirements listed in subsection (1) of this section, you must meet the other requirements contained in this chapter.

Where Do People Have The Most Problems?

The Arc of Tri-Cities has found that families do not understand that it takes 2 areas of documentation to prove your child has a disability.

1st Area - Qualifying Diagnosis.

2nd Area- Functional Assessment - shows the person is functioning below level (Vineland Test)

Autism Diagnosis?


Autism Diagnosis Criteria- Must be level 2 and 3 to be eligible for DDA Services

DSM IV - Need to Use or Reference if IQ is higher than 84

Informing Families Building Trust Explanation

DDA Exception Procedure for Higher IQ's

How do I show that I have autism as an eligible condition?

In order to be considered for eligibility under the condition of autism you must be age four or older and have a diagnosis by a qualified professional which meets the conditions in subsection (1) or (2) of this section, as well as subsections (3), (4), and (5) of this section:
(1) Autistic disorder 299.00 per the diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders, fourth edition, text revision (DSM-IV-TR), or
(2) Autism spectrum disorder 299.00 per the diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders, fifth edition (DSM-5), with a severity level of 2 or 3 in both columns of the severity level scale.
(3) The condition is expected to continue indefinitely with evidence of onset before age three.
(4) An acceptable diagnostic report includes documentation of all diagnostic criteria specified in the DSM-IV-TR or DSM-5.
(5) DDA will accept a diagnosis from any of the following professionals:
(a) Board certified neurologist;
(b) Board certified psychiatrist;
(c) Licensed psychologist;
(d) Advanced registered nurse practitioner (ARNP) associated with an autism center or developmental center; or
(e) Board certified developmental and behavioral pediatrician.

WAC 388-823-0510 - If I have Autism, how do I meet the definition of substantial limitations?

If you have an eligible condition of autism, in order to meet the definition of substantial limitations you must meet the criteria in subsections (1) and (2) in this section:
(1) Documentation of an adaptive skills test score of more than two standard deviations below the mean as described in WAC  388-823-0740 and subject to all of WAC  388-823-0740 and  388-823-0750, and
(2) If your diagnosis is autism spectrum disorder per the DSM-5, documentation of a FSIQ of more than one standard deviation below the mean as described in WAC  388-823-0720 and subject to all of WAC  388-823-0720 and  388-823-0730.
(a) If you have a FSIQ score of one standard deviation below the mean or higher as described in WAC  388-823-0720, you may present additional documentation described in sub item (i) or (ii) in this subsection, signed by the diagnosing professional, which shows that you meet the criteria for autistic disorder 299.00 per the DSM-IV-TR:
(i) A completed autistic disorder confirmation form (available from DDA), or
(ii) Other documentation that provides the same information as required on the autistic disorder confirmation form.
(b) If you are unable to complete a FSIQ test, you may provide a statement by the diagnosing professional that your condition is so severe that you are unable to demonstrate the minimal skills required to complete testing.

 Adaptive Testing

What is the Vineland Test?

The Vineland Adaptive Behavior Scales, Second Edition (Vineland-II) measures the personal and social skills of individuals from birth through adulthood.  Because adaptive behavior refers to an individual's typical performance of the day-to-day activities required for personal and social sufficiency, these scales assess what a person actually does, rather than what he or she is able to do. 

In order to determine the level of an individual's adaptive behavior, someone who is familiar with that individual, such as a parent or caregiver, is asked to describe his activities.  Those activities are then compared to those of other people the same age to determine which areas are average, above average, or in need of special help.

Learning about an individual's adaptive behavior helps us to gain a total picture of that individual.  When adaptive behavior information is combined with information about an individual's intelligence, school achievement, and physical health, plans can be made to address any special needs that person may have at home or in school.

There is a teacher version and a parent version.  The parent questionnaire can be processed either as an interview or a parent survey.  The parent version will address a wider variety of adaptive behaviors than the teacher version, which only addresses behaviors observed in the classroom.

The Vineland-II assesses adaptive behavior in four domains: Communication, Daily Living Skills, Socialization, and Motor Skills.  It also provides a composite score that summarizes the individual's performance across all four domains.

Vineland Domains
NOTE: When ABAS is done instead of Vineland it must be 70 or below