(517) 220-0306

After The Diagnosis – Next Steps

Following is a step by step guide that may help make the road smoother and answer questions you hadn’t anticipated yet. You may always reach us at 517-220-0306 or AS.GreaterDetroit@gmail.com

Step 1: Receiving an official diagnosis of autism.

An autism evaluation must be made by a psychologist, psychiatrist or developmental pediatrician. We have contact phone numbers for providers on our website.  You may be eligible for therapies with your insurance provider or through CMH.

Step 2: Check with your health insurance provider on eligibility for autism therapies.

Become familiar with all the different types of therapy and programs available in your area so that you can decide what will work best. Some therapies you many consider are:

  • ABA (Applied Behavior Analysis): the use of these techniques and principles to bring about meaningful and positive change in behavior. Through decades of research, the field of behavior analysis has developed many techniques for increasing useful behaviors and reducing those that may cause harm or interfere with learning
  • Equine therapy: excellent therapy for addressing key symptoms: communication and social skills, lowered sensory skills, motor skills, and response to verbal cues and external stimuli. When you ride, you develop a bond with your horse and they become familiarized with your movements, attitudes and emotions, which make them extremely effective in bonding and encouraging communication and interaction.
  • Music therapy: the use of music and its elements such as sound, melody, rhythm, and harmony.
  • Occupational therapy: therapy that is focused on an individual’s ability to participate in desired daily life tasks. Some examples of daily tasks include caring for one’s self or others, working, going to school, playing, and living independently.
  • Physical therapy: A branch of rehabilitative health that uses specially designed exercises and equipment to help patients regain or improve their physical abilities. May be beneficial if there is muscle stiffness/tightness, delay in obtaining motor skills milestones, poor balance and coordination, difficulty in moving through the environment, postural abnormalities, muscle weakness, or pain.
  • Speech therapy: focus on enhancing or restoring limited or lost communicative skills or oral motor skills such as swallowing. Some individuals do well with a Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS) and others may do well with augmentative communication devices.
  • Vision therapy: based on the fact that vision is learned. The ability to see and correctly interpret what is seen does not appear automatically at birth.

Step 3: Contact Community Mental Health Services for state-funded services.

You can find training for support staff, housing support & options, and county services.  Mental health services in Michigan are coordinated through local Community Mental Health Services Programs (CMHSPs), which will usually authorize therapy services.   Click here for an alphabetical list of local CMHSPs. The list includes contact information for your local program.

Website: Community Mental Health Services (michigan.gov)

Step 4: Ensure your child is set up for academic success.

When your child is of school age, you have the right to develop an Individualized Education Program (IEP) with your public-school district that is designed to meet the needs of your child. Every child has the right to a Free and Appropriate Public Education (FAPE), and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) mandates a public education for all eligible children and makes the schools responsible for providing the supports and services that will allow this to happen.

Website: Student Advocacy Center of Michigan

Learn about Inclusive transportation for students with Disabilities. Website: Transfinder

Step 5: Apply for Social Security

Reach out to a Benefit Advocate and learn about how to apply for Social Security and what to expect during and after the process.

We suggest you start here:  Social Security Disability Guide.   You can learn more by reviewing the resources on All About Social Security page.

Step 6: Get involved.

Reach out for support groups of programs for your child. Do not hesitate to reach out to us here at ASGD for opportunities to get integrated into the Autism community from playgroups to adult social clubs.

Other supportive MI organizations include:




© Autism Society of Greater Detroit

Autism Society of Greater Detroit is a 501 (c) (3) non-profit charity and our tax ID is 88-1145107