NORTH DAKOTA (KXNET) — Applications are now being accepted for a voucher that helps cover the costs of certain things that help children with autism.

Families with children ages three to 17, who have been diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder, and do not make more than $4,625 a month, are eligible to apply.

The voucher can be used for respite care for caregivers, sensory or safety equipment, and other support services.

“I’m 100% behind it. It helps these families be easier in their day, which is our goal. Kids get to stay home. Kids get to be successful and not be in chaos all the time. That’s our goal,” said Katherine Barchenger, the state autism coordinator for the North Dakota Department of Human Services.

Families have to apply every year and this state fiscal year runs from July 1 through June 30 of next year. Bachenger says families can apply until the money runs out.

To apply, families must complete the ASD Voucher program application or contact the North Dakota Department of Human Services at 701-328-4630 or

Families should submit the completed application and required documentation by mail, email or fax to the department’s Medical Services Division, to Katherine Barchenger, at 600 E. Boulevard Ave., Dept. 325, Bismarck, N.D. 58505-0250, or fax 701-328-1544.