Accessing Services

Individuals seeking Developmental Disability services through Burke must meet the definition of “priority population” as established by the Texas Department of Aging & Disability Services (DADS). The priority population consists of:

  • individuals with a diagnosis of mental retardation (IQ <70, originating prior to the age of 18)
  • individuals with a diagnosis of pervasive developmental disorder with age of onset prior to the age of 10
  • individuals with a diagnosis of autism with age of onset prior to the age of 3
  • individuals residing in nursing facility that have been referred through OBRA
  • Children three and under who are eligible for Early Childhood Intervention services

Individuals diagnosed with a related condition may be eligible for Medicaid funded services such as ICF/MR and or HCS. Related conditions are conditions defined by DADS and include sensory and neurological impairments.

Accessing Services

An individual or his/her parent, legal guardian or primary caregiver may request services by calling Burke Disability Authority at 936-639-1479 or toll free at 1-800-621-1523. A staff member will gather basic information about the individual, explain the intake process and schedule the individual for an intake appointment.

For the intake appointment you will need to bring the following information with you if it is available:

  • Birth Certificate
  • Social Security Card
  • Insurance information
  • Previous testing (school records, past treatment facility)
  • Guardianship Papers/Custody Papers, if applicable
  • Proof of residency (utility bills or tax statement)

At the intake appointment, a staff member will complete a financial eligibility assessment and a comprehensive assessment of the individual to obtain detailed information about the individual’s developmental history, family history and medical history. Information obtained will be reviewed by a psychologist to assist in determining the age of onset should the individual be found to have a diagnosis of mental retardation.

Following the intake appointment, you may be scheduled for a diagnostic evaluation with a DADS Certified Psychologist. The evaluation typically consists of the following:

  • Review of past testing: If records are available of previous evaluations the psychologist will review the reports to help understand the individual’s historic levels of functioning. Past records may also be used to determine that the age of onset was in the developmental period (prior to the age of 18.)
  • Interview: The psychologist will meet with the individual and his primary caregiver or legally authorized representative (LAR) to discuss past test results, and to ask questions about the individual’s development period, psychiatric history, problem behaviors, concerns the family or individual has; and services being requested.
  • Adaptive Behavior Assessment: The psychologist may complete an assessment to determine the individual’s adaptive level of functioning.
  • Intellectual Assessment: The psychologist may complete an intellectual assessment if the individual has never been tested before or if previous test results are considered outdated.


You will receive a written letter within 30 days of your assessment to inform you of the outcome. If you have been determined to have a diagnosis of mental retardation or a Pervasive Developmental Disorder, a staff member will contact you to discuss services you are eligible to receive.

Because resources are insufficient to meet the service needs of every consumer in the priority population, some individuals are placed on a waiting list based on the intensity of their needs. Persons with intense needs will be referred to Service Coordination once determined eligible for services. These needs are determined as follows:

  • An individual is in danger or at risk of losing his or her support system, especially the living arrangement or supports needed to maintain self;
  • An individual is at risk of abuse or neglect;
  • An individual’s basic health and safety needs are not being met through current supports;
  • An individual is at risk for functional loss without intervention or preventative or maintenance services; or
  • An individual demonstrates repeated criminal behavior.

If you are found to have a related condition you will not qualify for services funded by general revenue. You will however be able to request assistance in finding residential placement in an Intermediate Care Facility (ICF).