You can read more about these therapies and how they are used on the Resource Guides page. Receiving a formal diagnosis is an important step to accessing the array of services and treatment options available to your child. Depending on your health insurance provider and specific benefits plan, you may need referrals from the doctor and Prior Authorization from the insurance company before beginning certain therapies (such as ABA Therapy). Securing insurance coverage for autism treatment can be challenging. Be sure to review your insurance policy documents to see what services are covered and what is required to access these services. If you have questions about your policy and benefits, you can call your insurance provider, speak with the Human Resources Department (if you receive insurance through your employer), review the insurance guides in the Advocacy Resources section of our website, contact an advocate who specializes in autism and disability rights, and/or contact us directly for additional assistance.

Care for a child with autism can be very costly, even with insurance coverage. KNOWAutism Foundation provides financial assistance for both diagnostic assessments and therapeutic treatments. If you are in need of financial assistance, please visit Apply for Assistance to review our available programs and applications.

After an Autism Diagnosis: Now What? 

Your child has just received a diagnosis for Autism Spectrum Disorder. You may be wondering: What do we do now? First, allow yourself to process the emotions you may be experiencing, and know that you are not alone. There are many families who have walked this same path and who have gone through the same range of emotions you are experiencing now. When you are ready, consider finding local support groups or parent groups to connect with other families who understand this process. Parent groups can provide referrals, recommendations, resources, and support. As with any chronic or pervasive condition, autism impacts the entire family. It is important to find a support network for yourself and your family.

Second, remember that while there is no cure for autism, there are a variety of treatments available that can help your child thrive. The earlier you begin these therapeutic treatments, the better. Research shows that consistent, quality therapeutic intervention, particularly before the age of five years old, can improve the longterm outcomes for children with autism. After your child's assessment, your doctor should provide you with a review of your child's particular needs, the types of therapy that can target those needs, recommendations for the frequency and intensity of those therapies, and referrals for local providers. When you go to appointments for your child, consider taking a journal and taking notes about what the provider tells you. If you have any questions, write them down to help yourself remember to ask, and write down the answers the provider gives you. If you need additional referral options, visit our Service Providers Guide to review lists of Houston-area providers by category. The most commonly recommended therapies for Autism Spectrum Disorder include:

  • Speech Language Therapy
  • Occupational Therapy
  • Physical Therapy
  • Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA Therapy)
  • Behavioral Training and Management
  • Medications or nutritional supplements to address specific symptoms
  • Social Skills Groups