Begin your journey

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We are glad you are here.

We understand that receiving a diagnosis of a developmental disability is something most families are unprepared for. You may experience grief, anger or disbelief. And each of these are normal ways of responding to a new diagnosis. We are here to help you take the first steps to ensuring your family has access to resources and supports throughout their lifespan.

Where do I begin?

The best place to begin is with early intervention services.  Early intervention (also known as Part C services) supports families of infants and toddlers, ages birth to three years, with developmental delays and disabilities. Children learn best with people they know and in the places they spend most of their time. Early Intervention professionals help families build on the things they do every day to support their child’s learning and development in order to reach their goals for their child.  

Connect with New Path

Connecting with other families on similar paths can play a huge role in receiving the support and references you need to guide you along with journey.


The New Path program will help you navigate the early intervention system by assisting you understand the terms, laws and jargon you will encounter, as well as connecting you with other parents on similar journeys. You can reach Katie Webb, the New Path Family Coordinator at  kwebb@thearcofva.org or (m/text): 804.829.3205.

Learn More

Find out more

Learn about Medicaid waivers

During this time period, you should also learn about and apply for Medicaid Waivers. In Virginia, there are four specific waivers that are available for individuals with developmental disabilities. These waivers are:

  • CCC Plus
  • Building Independence
  • Family & Individual Supports
  • Community Living

When your child is diagnosed with a disability, we recommend applying for the CCC Plus waiver. Obtaining Medicaid is NOT based on income should your child meet eligibility criteria of the waiver. Learn more about the CCC Plus waiver by visiting our waiver page.

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Learn about special education

Your child will age out of the early intervention program and likely move to Part B special education services. This will take place by their third birthday. At the discretion of some states, two year-olds who will turn three during the school year may receive special education services.


Learn about assistive technology

What is assistive technology?

 In general, assistive technology is considered to be any device, software or equipment that helps people with disabilities work around challenges so they can learn, communicate and function.


What is an assistive technnology (AT) device?

Assistive technology device means any item, piece of equipment, or product system, whether acquired commercially off the shelf, modified, or customized, that is used to increase, maintain, or improve the functional capabilities of a child with a disability. The term does not include a medical device that is surgically implanted, or the replacement of such device (IDEA 2004 Section 300.5)


How might assistive technology support my child?

Assistive technology can provide support in many areas, including:

  • Communication
  • Speech
  • Social skills
  • And so many more.

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Speak to an advocate

Would you like to speak to an advocate about this information? Please fill out our intake form. Services are provided free of charge.

Intake form