We’re here for you, one step at a time

We know it's challenging enough to help your child grow. That's why we want to make the rest of getting started simple. Whether you're starting with BabyNet (Ages 0-3) or the Department of Disabilities & Special Needs (Ages 3-5), here are your steps to a great start.

Your DDSN (Department of Disabilities and Special Needs) walkthrough

DDSN is the agency that covers family training and service coordination. It also identifies whether there are any other programs you or your child qualify for. Working with DDSN begins the process of coverage for a person with special needs: starting from birth and providing support throughout their lifetime. Here’s how to get started.

Step 1

Call DDSN’s toll free number - 1-800-289-7012 to ask for a referral.

  • Expect a 15 min phone conversation to establish SC residency and provide general information regarding disability.
  • Have the applicant’s full name, birth date, social security number, Medicaid number (if applicable), home address, phone number, and email address available for the phone call.

Step 2

Your intake provider will then assist you with getting your DDSN eligibility determination. 

Step 3

Call us at any point in the process with any questions you have about what makes us different from the many providers in the area. If you feel like we would be a good fit, we would love to work with you! 

Step 4

Once you receive notice from DDSN confirming your eligibility, DDSN will ask you to select your preferred Early Intervention Service Provider. At this point, you can request Ahead Start by name.

Step 5

Once you’ve selected Ahead Start as your chosen provider, DDSN will notify our team. We will be in touch to setup your Initial Visit. 

Step 6

We will come to your Initial Visit prepared to hit the ground running. Although we come with a plan and goals based off your concerns and your child’s specific delays, every visit allows time to talk through current concerns and coordinate strategically together. We will also make sure you are aware of any additional services your family may qualify for. We can’t wait to help your child Start Early and Grow Stronger! 

From the very start, all services are covered financially by DDSN. After calling DDSN to start the eligibility process, see our full range of programs that are included in your DDSN coverage.