Ok, from what i can tell, this is a distro specific process. the /etc/modules.autoload/kernel-version you mentioned is the way gentoo handles it, and it is very simple.
link has some information on compileing modules, and then configuring your distro to auto load them. It says that debian and redhat have identical boot procedures, so they can be configured the same.
Directly from the website:
Having logged in as root, use your favourite text editor to create a new file called /etc/rc.d/init.d/modules.init with the following contents therein:
# Modules initialisation.
# Start up the module auto-loading daemon.
# Mount all currently unmounted auto-mounted partitions.
Having created the above file, perform the following steps whilst logged on as root:
chmod 755 init.d/*
ln -s ../init.d/modules.init 05modules.init
i haven't had to try this, i use gentoo now, but it should work for you.