Re: the steps taken to get the most services
Well here in Washington State, Kitsap and Pierce county(the only ones I'VE dealt with)-- have this early intervention program. They assign you a case worker and they get you an appt for speech, ot and other evaluations. Then if your child is lacking, they will give you those services until he turns 3 for free. Then the child goes to the school district for evaluations and if accepted, goes into a special education preschool and from then on, he's entered into the school system.
As far as getting a diagnosis, we have a great Autism Center by the University of Washington. There is one in Tacome and the other I believe is at the University. Long long long waiting lists. There is actually a waiting list for PHONE calls to be returned!!!! So in the meantime, I've taken my son to a DAN! dr and we're getting the ball rolling that way....otherwise it's a big waiting game.
Hope I've answered your question. As far as school, my son get 60 minutes of OT in school a week. And 75 minutes a week of speech. My insurance only covers 15 visits a year of private speech...I have a 4 yr old that doesn't talk PEOPLE...15 visits doesn't do much!! They also only cover 15 visits a year of private OT. Now after we see the People at the University Autism Center, I'm not sure what services he'll qualify for...????
Good luck! Kim W.