7 Steps for Parents and Guardians

Additional resources to help you on your journey


Has been providing services and supports for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities since 1952. Services include residential (group home living and supported living), employment services (community employment and ADEC Industries), day services (at 5 locations), family and children services (after school club, summer camp, etc.), therapies (music and recreation), and more.

Bureau of Developmental Disabilities Services (BDDS)

A division of FSSA which provides services for individuals with developmental disabilities. BDDS assists individuals in receiving community supports and residential services. Be sure to keep the BDDS office notified if you move or if you have any changes in your household. If you live in Elkhart or St. Joseph counties, you are in District 2. 401 E. Colfax Ave, Suite 270, South Bend, IN. Or phone: 877.218.3059


In Indiana, there are multiple waivers, and you can get one based on the type of disability (medical or developmental) and level of care your child needs. Waiver services can cover some services and supports that are not available under traditional Medicaid. Upon diagnosis of an intellectual or developmental disability, a guardian should apply for a Medicaid Waiver.

Social Security Income (SSI)

SSI is a federal program that makes monthly payments to people with low income who are disabled. A child may qualify if they meet Social Security’s definition of disability for children, and your family has limited income and resources.

First Steps

If your child is under 3 years of age, you should contact the First Steps program for your county. The phone number for the local First Steps Coordinator may be obtained by calling 1-800-441-7837.

Navigating the Course: Finding Your Way through Indiana’s Special Education Rules

If your child is between 3-21 years of ages contact your local school district to find out about options in your area. It is important that you understand the rules and regulations in Indiana regarding Special Education. A guide to help you learn about this is Navigating the Course: Finding Your Way Through Indiana’s Special Education Rules

Public Insurance

There are several forms of public insurance that may be available to you depending on your family’s situation. Medicaid, Medicaid Disability and Children’s Special Health Care Services are all programs to check into for possible coverage of medical expenses.