Autism and the NDIS | MyCareSpace
Randa Habelrih talking at the meet up

Autism and the NDIS

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Autism and the NDIS 

On Friday 1 October,  we had the privilege of being invited to join the enigmatic Randa Habelrih and her son Richard who were hosting an information session called 'Autism and the NDIS'  at the Mill Hill Centre in Bondi Junction. Randa is an author, founder of SCHOOL MATES and more recently started an online support group for carers and people on the autism spectrum called "Connection on the Spectrum". 

Some background about Richard - when he was diagnosed with autism as a baby, Randa was told by his doctors that he would never speak. They could not have been more wrong. Richard was MC at the event on Friday and now his family cannot stop him from talking! He is funny, charming and a highly engaging speaker. Richard has now ventured into speaking engagements at schools to help students understand autism, using humor and puppets to help children understand the social barriers that autism creates and the implications of bullying. 

Richard is a testament to the fact that love and perseverance can prove even the most learned doctor wrong! Never Give up!
Randa had invited  Charmaine Fraser from Mind-the-Gap Disability Matters to present on the two topic of Autism and the NDIS. Both topics are huge and complex in their own right but Charmaine breaks them down and creates the links which are vital for any parent about to embark on their first planning meeting with the NDIA.
Richard Habelrih MC at the meet up
Charmaine herself is a mother of Jack on the autism spectrum. MyCareSpace has yet to meet anyone with as much knowledge as Charmaine on the combined topics of autism and the NDIS. Charmaine breaks it all down, to the simplest form so things are easy to understand and leaves you feeling like you have a clear idea of  how to approach your planning meeting and what your NDIS plan should look like.

So whats the big deal?

Autism makes up a significant portion of the NDIS funding - in fact almost 29% according to the latest NDIS market statistics. This means autism is a big deal for the NDIA as any changes to best practice or evidence based supports could have a massive financial impact on NDIS Funding.

Its a big deal for the community because as the need for support is so great.

Charmaine covered a lot of ground, so we are giving you her top 10 tips (ok maybe we need 11!!):

  1. Don't fight the NDIS - play their game instead
  2. Success happens when PREPARATION meets opportunity
  3. Using the RIGHT language in your planning meeting is CRITICAL
  4. Understand the BIG words like Choice & Control, Economic participation, Social inclusion, Goals & Aspirations, Reasonable & Necessary
  5. Think the supports you need to live an ORDINARY LIFE 
  6. Starting with your access request form BE PREPARED
  7. Understand what PEDICAT & WHODAS mean the impact on functional assessment
  8. Think about the GOALS you want to achieve for your child
  9. Think about how your INFORMAL SUPPORTS might impact your plan
  10. Be prepared MENTALLY prepared
  11. Always take someone to the meetings - never go ALONE

 Funded supports are linked to goals and aspirations, so its key to understand what goals you're working towards.

Reasonable and necessary means that the support:

  • must be related to the disability
  • is not included day to day living costs
  • represents value for money
  • is likely to be effective and beneficial (think EVIDENCE BASED SUPPORTS)
  • is not covered by informal supports, carers, networks and community 

A lot has been said about the massive difference in plans for different people. A major driver of this difference, which is often totally appropriate, is due to informal supports. Charmaine is a support coordinator and has first hand  experienced how ones access to support coordination can impact your plan outcomes.

Consider accessing a good support co ordinator, especially for your first plan. If you need help finding one, call us on 1800 670 014.

Useful Links

Before embarking on the NDIS planning journey or at least prior we suggest you familiarize yourself with all the relevant topics as much as possible. Being prepared and researching will be your key to success:
Here are some very useful links about Autism and the NDIS to kick off your research.
If you are looking for a provider in your area who can support a child with autism, type in your post code and select autism under disability in  the search browser on MyCareSpace. If you need any assistance please call us on 1800 670 014 or We would love to help you!
Charmaine Fraser speaking at the meet up