Autism Scholarship Program
The Ohio Department of Education has an Ohio Autism Scholarship Program that provides $20,000.00 annually and can be used to pay for services at Peak Potential Therapy and other approved registered alternate providers. Ohio’s Autism Scholarship Program, originally a pilot program that began in January 2004, was moved from temporary to permanent law in December 2006.
The program gives parents the choice of sending their child with autism to a special education program, other than the one operated by their child’s public school district, to receive the services outlined in the child’s individualized education program (IEP). The maximum scholarship amount remains at $20,000 for each participating child per school year. The program is administered through the Ohio Department of Education’s (ODE’s) Office for Exceptional Children (OEC).
The scholarship is for students between ages 3 and 21 who have been identified by their resident public district as autistic. Although preschool students are identified as having a nonspecific disability, they too can qualify for the program. Students who have been identified as having a “pervasive developmental disorder” (PDD-NOS) also qualify for the program.
Without exception, all students require a current, finalized and agreed upon IEP from their resident district. The resident district is responsible for reviewing the IEP at least on an annual basis.
Applying to the Program
A parent can obtain an application to participate in the Autism Scholarship Program on ODE’s Website or by calling OEC at (614) 466-2650 (toll-free 877-644-6338). The resident district completes the district assurance form included in the parent application.
The application can be submitted to OEC any time during the year. Once the application is reviewed, OEC sends a letter to the parent informing them if the application has been approved or denied. The office also sends a copy of this letter to the child’s resident district.
The scholarship can only pay for services specified on the child’s IEP and does not pay for tuition. Services must be obtained from ODE-approved providers, such as Peak Potential Therapy, who is qualified to provide the specific services indicated on the IEP.
Continue to Ohio Department of Education’s (ODE’s) Website