The NDIS – you’ve heard about it, you’ve read about it and you’ve become confused about it. It’s ok, we all have! I’m here to tell you that with the right preparation, planning and work, the NDIS can make a real difference for you and your family.
Firstly, why is the NDIS important to families with young children?
The NDIS, at its heart, is all about ensuring we have a nationally consistent approach that supports individuals with disability or developmental delay in the ways they need to be supported. There is a strong emphasis on early intervention and delivering outcomes – this is a huge plus because we know that early intervention is key when it comes to children who present with developmental challenges.
The scheme also promotes supporting individuals and families to reach their full capacity so that over time, they require less support from the scheme. As a nation, we should be incredibly proud of how our country is evolving to support people with developmental delays and disabilities!
While it is a positive move, the reality of the NDIS can be hard for families to navigate. I can’t tell you whether that’s because the scheme is bigger than Ben Hur or because all the new terminology gives just about anyone a brain freeze but what I can tell you is that you can be prepared.
Have a read below for my summary of the important considerations for when the scheme rolls out in your area#
- Know whether your child is applying for the Early Childhood Early Intervention (ECEI) approach or entering the full NDIS
- The ECEI approach supports children aged 0-6 years who have a developmental delay or disability and their families/carers. This is all about early intervention. Some, but not all children, will continue onto the full NDIS after their seventh birthday
- The full NDIS scheme is for persons aged 7 years – 65 years who have a diagnosed permanent disability that affects their ability to complete tasks and participate in social and economic activities.
- Be familiar with the Early Intervention Access requirements – that is, is your child eligible?
- Some conditions only require a diagnosis and do not require further assessment (https://www.ndis.gov.au/operational-guideline/access/list-d.html)
- For other conditions that are not on the above list, the NDIS will meet with you and your family to determine whether you are eligible for the scheme or whether mainstream supports are more appropriate.
- For a child to meet developmental delay requirements, they must be under 6 years of age.
- For children accessing the ECEI approach, you will be allocated an ECEI partner who may determine your child’s eligibility for the scheme. The ECEI partner may also develop your plan if you’ve been deemed eligible. This person knows the NDIS well, so use their knowledge and ask them all your questions! You also don’t need to pay for their support or time, they are there to help.
- Bring a support person to your meetings. This can be another family member, a key worker if you have one or a friend.
- If you are already receiving funding for your child, be open and prepared for some change. The NDIS looks different to the types of block funding families have been receiving. Remember, different isn’t necessarily bad.
- Your current funding won’t stop until your NDIS funding is approved.
- If you receive funding, you will have a lot more choice and control over how you use your funding. That means, you can see you speech pathologist at more frequent intervals or even have the opportunity to also see an additional health professional, such as a dietician or occupational therapist, who you might not have been able to see before!
The NDIS is our country’s biggest work in progress, and it’s a chance for some really good things to happen for so many people, including all the little people who need a bit of extra help. Hopefully, over time it will become clearer and simpler for everyone, but know that all of us at Speech Ease will do our best to help support your family through the NDIS as it rolls out.
#The western region of metropolitan Melbourne (Werribee, Hoppers Crossing, Point Cook Newport and surrounds), are expected to commence roll out in October 2018