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.
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!!):
- Don't fight the NDIS - play their game instead
- Success happens when PREPARATION meets opportunity
- Using the RIGHT language in your planning meeting is CRITICAL
- Understand the BIG words like Choice & Control, Economic participation, Social inclusion, Goals & Aspirations, Reasonable & Necessary
- Think the supports you need to live an ORDINARY LIFE
- Starting with your access request form BE PREPARED
- Understand what PEDICAT & WHODAS mean the impact on functional assessment
- Think about the GOALS you want to achieve for your child
- Think about how your INFORMAL SUPPORTS might impact your plan
- Be prepared MENTALLY prepared
- 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.