I am new and would like to know the steps you have taken (and are taking) in your area to get all the services your child needs. I know that it varies from area to area, but the knowledge of the steps taken in one area by one parent could significantly help with how to approach for services in another.
So far I get the feeling that all of the counties and states make their process different and confusing so you won't be able to compare one to the other and they don't want parent's to brainstorm with eachother (so that the next person that goes into their office will actually know what forms and services to ask for, and if they say that such and such services will not be provided due to lack of funding (your response would be that it doesn't say anywhere in the law that services can be refused due to lack of funding, etc..)
Don't know where you are so can't be specific, but my advice would be to do as much research as possible, talk to as many different people as possible and ask as many questions as you can come up with. It sounds cynical, but never take everything you're told as the truth, always check it with as many people as possible and if you're told no, keep pestering!
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...????