Yes, you need the diagnosis to get therapeutic services. BUT you can have your child evaluated through your state's Early Intervention program and/or Intermediate Unit (or equivalent) and they will work with your child on preschool skills while addressing his developmental issues/delays, all for FREE--including round trip, door-to-door transportation! They will then help with the transition to Kindergarten and elementary school.
Both of my children have autism and were diagnosed at ages 2 and 3 1/2. My now 8 1/2 year old is entering 3rd grade in the fall and is no longer in Autistic support, but a 100% regular education classroom, he went from being diagnosed with mild autism, to PDD-NOS last year. My now 6 1/2 year old is seemingly following in his footsteps! His speech is still somewhat delayed, but his intelligence is very high. I have high hopes for both of my children. The earlier you start the better the outcome!
at 8:38 PM on Jul. 24, 2010