Can the school district deny services even with a medical diagnosis? *UPDATE IN RED*
A week ago DS (3 years old) got diagnosed with ASD, Level 1. He is very high functioning with very mild presentation (for now at least), but the specialists did recognize his differences in social skills and play. I mean ... WE DID GET AN OFFICIAL DIAGNOSIS!
This morning a person came from Child Find (associated with the school district) to talk to us about options. DS is in a day care and for now is doing well there, but the day care is not part of the public schools. It is a great place to be, I love the teachers and the attention DS gets there, but we are looking at a possibility switching to a public preschool, were there adventages in terms of services. So the lady came to my home this morning and she was apparently expecting to see a different kid. She did say she did not expect to see such a high functioning kid... DS is highly verbal and smart and can be engaging.. So this lady basically went on to tell me that he will have to be assessed by the school and then they will decide if he is eligible for any services. She didn't say it out loudly, but she hinted me at every step that he probably won't qualify. A team od specialists at the Autism Clinic observed and interacted with my kid for over 4 hours, and this lady comes to my house, and based on what she sees in 20 minutes she dismisses his diagnosis?? I asked her about an aid in a mainstream classroom (that's what the eval team suggested would be the best for DS). She said it may be possible, but we won't know until they are done with all their testing, which will take 2+ months.
Have any of you mommas been in a similar situation? What did you do, and what was the turn out? I am determined to get for my DS whatever he needs, I just need to learn all the loopholes ...
UPDATE: Thank you everyone for your replies and for helping me understand better the situation we are in. I thought once you have a DX, you have opened doors to all kinds of services. I now know that the school district provides services only to those who have educational needs. Therefore, they do their own testing. I also garthered that sometimes (quite often) they try to deny services even to those who obviously need them badly.
Based on what I learned from various sources these days, and talking to DS's social worker, and on my gut feeling, me and DH made a decision. We will go through the educational eval process. They may grant some services, but it is more likely they won't. Currently, DS has very mild presentation and it is all in social interaction.. He is not speech/language delayed, intelecually he is great, and he doesn't have any major sensory issues. Just the social quirks.. which I understand the school is not responsible for treating. So we decided DS will stay at the private day care (it is actually the best option in town for ages 2-5, and they have preschool and pre-K curicula). We will likely get him private OT to work on his play skills and que interaction with peers. We are also on the waiting list for the Parent Home Training (PHT) program - trained people come in our house to teach us how to go about DS's needs on specific issues. This is a state funded program and they will come 6 times (bi-weekly, I think).
So that is what we are doing for now. And also doing play dates. As DS gets older and new behaviours and issues arise, we will re-evaluate with the school district.
Again, thank you everyone for your input, each opinion counts!