OPWDD stands for the Office of People with Developmental Disabilities. OPWDD approval offers the opportunity to receive free services and programs for children with developmental disabilities. There are basically two ways to qualify… based on an IQ lower than 70 and/or adaptive score lower than 70. Adaptive score means your child’s ability to take care of themselves and perform life skills on their own without your help. Many children with autism and other developmental issues qualify based on adaptive scores. Even if you have a child who is “higher functioning” they can qualify for help. OPWDD is NOT income based. You can qualify regardless of income.
Although the process to apply can be long, it is definitely worth it to apply! If you apply prior to age 8 you will have to reapply at age 8 to gain permanent eligibility. If you apply at age 8 or later and are approved, you have permanent eligibility forever. You can find applications online or we have them in the SASI office.
Also Parent to Parent NY is a great resource to help you with the process of applying. You can find them at http://parenttoparentnys.org/offices/long-island/