A medical or outside diagnosis of Autism doesn't automatically qualify your child to receive school-based services, accommodations or modifications. The child must have a separate, school-based evaluation in order to determine what services and/or accommodations or modifications your child is eligible to receive. This evaluation process, as well as ensuring on-going, appropriate supports in the school system, can be a difficult process. Being familiar with the processes and your child's rights can help ensure they are getting appropriate supports and services.
In order to receive school-based services and/or accommodations, a child either needs to qualify for a 504 plan or an Individualized Educational Plan (IEP). While both serve as a plan for what will help your child at school; an IEP is a part of Special Education, where as a 504 plan (or Individual Accommodation Plan/IAP) is not part of Special Education. An Individualized Education Plan dictates special education services and related services that are tailored to the child's unique needs. A 504 plan, or Individual Accommodation, is just how it sounds---accommodations that are tailored to your child's needs. The student's with IEP's rights are protected under Individuals with Disabilities Act (IDEA), which is a federal law. A student with a 504 also has protection through federal law: Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act.