Supporting 4 year old with ASD

We have a 4 year old who has been diagnosed with ASD. He has a medical diagnosis as well as an IEP from OUSD. He will be in an inclusion program, with support (his issues are expressive speech and social skills). I’ve applied for a TK spot for him, but our local school doesn't offer TK, and he has been waitlisted at all the schools that are a reasonable distance from us. Not being optimistic about a spot opening up, I’ve signed him up for another year at his preschool. We’re considering hiring someone to give him one-on-one support for a few hours per week at school. I would love to hear from others who have been through something similar, what your experiences were, and if you have any recommendations! Thank you in advance! 

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We had our son’s diagnosis pretty early, so in August after he turned 3, we enrolled in an Oakland USD run pre-school integrated program. We stressed about whether this school or a normal private preschool would be better. The school district offered speech once a week and 3hrs a day of paraprofessional help. I think the cost of trying to do private preschool plus finding similar services, negotiating some liabilities with the school, and paying out of pocket seemed more stressful with more unknowns and certainly cost. The downside with OUSD was that OUSD hours are limited, 8:30-2:30 and we both work. We were able to find a sitter for two hours a day. Honestly, we are kind of socioeconomic outliers at this preschool, and we haven’t been able to make friends, there is no parent involvement or network at the school. We probably should have gone the preschool plus out of pocket support for the social network aspects.
We’re applying to TK and still waitlisted at 4th in line for our closest school, but we keep being reassured that we should get in no problem. We’re looking forward to TK, but the whole application and waitlist is a nightmare.

The other thing we thought about was the stress of switching schools. We were waitlisted forever at a private preschool and they offered us a spot midway through the school year. We hope that we can do TK-5 all at our neighborhood school, and switching for 9 months didn’t seem worth it.

My son sounds very similar to yours and I’d love to connect if you are not too far. It’s been hard for us to find regular friends for our son. Shoot me a DM if you want to chat.