I'm a working mother who, fortunately, has a working husband and good insurance. Our developmental pediatrician is 100% covered. But here's the thing: She really doesn't do anything except diagnose and recommend treatment. The treatments she recommends are largely therapy-based - behavioral psychologists, social skills, occupational therapy, speech therapy...
None of these treatments tend to be covered by insurance. If you're lucky, you can submit them as "out of network" expenses after you hit a deductible (in our case, I think it's $750) and then you can get 70% back. But my husband works for a big company, so our benefits are great. Most people don't have that much coverage. And not all our therapies will be eligible. Social skills, for example - the therapy we need most - is NEVER covered.
We've used a flexible spending account in the past, too, and even that can't be used for some therapies.
Needless to say, providing therapies for one child on the spectrum is a financial hardship. We haven't even begun to treat child #2 yet.
And again - we're lucky. We're middle-class and well insured. But not all families of autistic children are as fortunate as we are.
It sees that New York's new Senator (and HRC's Senate replacement), Kristen Gillibrand, is proposing affordable autism treatments in New York state. Since she estimates that treatments can cost up to $6K per month (I 100% believe that), this is what she's proposing: