I use the monthly checks to cover equipment and for their foods that have to be ordered. SSI also opened up a lot of doors to other services where we are. My boys get therapies through a state program for kids on SSI. Check with DSS and see if you can get related services covered. This helps free up the check for monthly expenses.
I live in Indiana and never heard of TEFRA. Hes going into a special Kindergarten program that caps like class size at 8 and they use ABA therapy. Ive been told he will benefit immensely by this by his therapists at school and a couple of his former therapists he had from First Steps.
Unfortunately we are currently living with my parents - its a long story but Im working to remedy things and my hubby works his tail off - so the idea of a therapy room (though I LOVE this idea because my 2 yr old would also benefit from this) or service dogs arent something I can invest in right now.
As for therapy, he needs all of it: Speech, Occupational, and Physical.
That's great he is getting a disability check now! Does he also have disability insurance (TEFRA)? That should be what you use to pay for therapy and doctor visits. I would use the SSI checks to pay for a therapy room at home (equipped with swings, trampoline, tunnel, etc). Once you get the medical assistance insurance you should also qualify for a free PCA (personal care assistant). This is a home care provider that works very similarly to a nanny.
My daughter has autism and gets TEFRA. In some counties in our state she can get a waiver to pay for things, but in our county TEFRA pays for it. If you want to do ABA therapy the insurance will pay for it (in MN it is now illegal for a private insurance to deny it), but ABA is not for every child. We chose not to do it because we (along with our daughter's therapists) did not believe it was a good option for her. I know people who have used ABA and it worked well for them.
I assume you have already seen a developmental pediatrician since you cannot get SSI without a diagnosis. The next step would be to get therapy started. Your pediatrician should be able to recommend exactly what type of therapy he needs. Usually this is speech and occupational therapy. Sometimes physical therapy based on the need. Let me know if you have any more questions, I know quite a bit about this.
Also, does he like dogs? You could use the money to get him a service dog.
Begin with a developmental pediatrician. There is a type of intensive therapy that is 5 days a week all day but is show to have amazing results for children diagnosed with autism. It is expensive and the disability check can offset the insurance. Your local school district is also responsible for some of the intervention. good luck