MACSS Services and Information for Families

NOTE: This page is no longer being kept up to date but has been kept to preserve the valuable information that could prove to be useful.


Autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) are a group of developmental disabilities that cause a child to communicate, interact, behave and learn in ways that are different from other children.  Scientists do not know exactly what causes ASD, but there is much research being done in this area.  For additional information on ASD and services available through MACSS visit the following links:

Developmental Evaluation Services

Pediatric Evaluation and Developmental Services (PEDS)  - PEDS is a comprehensive diagnostic developmental evaluation and intervention program.  Services offered include diagnostic evaluations for ASD and other developmental delays or disabilities. 

Diagnostic Evaluation Options for Autism Spectrum Disorders
- This page provides a brief list of diagnostic evaluation options in or near Mississippi for children suspected of having an autism spectrum disorder.

Family Support

Family Access to a Center of Excellence for Support Services (FACESS) - FACESS is a one-stop family support center linking families of children with developmental disabilities with their community.  In addition, an Autism Support Group is offered as a part of this project.

Family-to-Family Center
- Mississippi's Family-to-Family Health Information and Education Center is a family-focused, family-managed resource center that empowers families of children with special health care needs to be partners in decisions concerning the health of their children.

First Stop Family Support Center
- First Stop is a program to support military and veteran families who have a child with a developmental disability.


2012 Community Report From the Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring (ADDM) Network - This community report summarizes the main findings from the following published report: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Prevalence of Autism Spectrum Disorders–Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring Network, United States, 2008. Morbidity and Mortal Weekly Report (MMWR) 2012; Vol. 61(3). Read the MMWR report in its entirety.

A Parent's Guide to Autism Spectrum Disorder - This guide produced by the National Institute of Mental Health provides information on signs, symptoms, causes, diagnosis and treatment of autism.

Autism Spectrum Disorder Information - This CDC site contains valuable general information about autism, including facts, screening, treatment and research.

Learn the Signs.  Act Early. - The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities (NCBDDD), in collaboration with a number of national partners, coordinate the Learn the Signs. Act Early. campaignThis campaign provides information about childhood development, including early warning signs of autism and other developmental disorders, and encourages developmental screening and intervention.

Mississippi Department of Education Office of Special Education - The Office of Special Education (OSE) supports local schools and districts in their efforts to provide effective educational programs to students with disabilities ages 3-20, who are in need of special education and other services necessary to enable them to benefit from instruction as provided for in the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act and state law.  For information about services available through the Department of Education, families should contact their local school district. In some instances, school services are available for children ages birth to 3;  however, these are not mandated by law.

Mississippi First Steps Early Intervention Program - First Steps is a program of the state of Mississippi that matches the unique needs of infants and toddlers who have developmental delays with professional resources within the community.  Each eligible child receives an individual assessment with family input. Led by an assigned service coordinator, a team works with the family to develop an individualized family service plan (IFSP) to provide appropriate services to the child and family using professional resources within the community. Families can arrange for an assessment by contacting their local Mississippi Department of Health office.

Toilet training for children with autism or intellectual Disabilities This book, written by Sue Bettison, Ph.D. will assist parents of children with autism or intellectual disabilities to achieve independent toileting.  The book is available for purchase at for $28.50.

The Greenspan Floortime ApproachThis site provides information on The Greenspan Floortime Approach, a system developed by the late Dr. Stanley Greenspan.  “Floortime” encourages families and therapy providers to meet children where they are and build upon their strengths and abilities through creating warm relationships and interactions. It challenges children to go further and to develop who they are rather than what their diagnosis says they