January 11, 2022
If you or your child have been formally diagnosed with autism, it’s worth doing some research into the NDIS and autism funding.
Depending on a participant’s level of needs, an NDIS plan can cover some of the expensive costs associated with an autistic person’s support and care.
In this blog, we explore some of the NDIS eligibility criteria for autistic people and the type of supports a participant might be eligible for.
Defining Autism Spectrum Disorder
It’s estimated that 1 in 100 Australians have been diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (more commonly referred to as ‘autism’ or ‘ASD’). Autism Spectrum Australia defines autism as “a condition that affects how a person thinks, feels, interacts with others, and experiences their environment”. Unlike other conditions, autism is a neurodevelopment disorder that causes different experiences for everyone that is diagnosed with it – which is why it’s described as a ‘spectrum’.
Data from the NDIS shows that autism is the largest primary disability category for the NDIS, with almost 30 per cent of active participants with an approved plan having a primary disability of autism. Additionally, an approximate 5 per cent of participants have autism as a secondary disability.
How can a person obtain an autism diagnosis?
Typically, a multidisciplinary team of health professionals will diagnose a child or adult with autism. While autism is usually diagnosed during childhood or adolescence, there are still many instances where a person isn’t formally diagnosed until adulthood. Autism presents differently between children, adults and even genders, so it’s worth finding someone that is experienced in diagnosing an array of different people.
Does an autism diagnosis automatically qualify someone for NDIS funding?
NDIS and autism funding do not automatically go hand in hand. To qualify for NDIS funding for autism, a person must be diagnosed by medical professionals experienced in the assessment of Pervasive Developmental Disorders, and assessed using the current Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-V) diagnostic criteria as having severity of Level 2 (requiring substantial support) or Level 3 (requiring very substantial support) autism.
You’ll also need to meet the other eligibility criteria outlined by the NDIS. You can access the NDIS eligibility checklist here.
What does the NDIS fund for autism?
Since autism is a spectrum, the type of support funded by the NDIS will vary from person to person, dependent on their individual needs. It’ll also depend on the participants physical and social goals. For example, if you have a goal to make new friends and develop your communication skills, the NDIS may fund a holiday camp to help build your interpersonal skills and meet likeminded people. Keeping those factors in mind, an autistic person may be eligible to receive funding for:
How much is NDIS funding for autism?
At Disability Plan Services, we’re often asked ‘how much is NDIS funding for autism?’. NDIS data revealed that on average, an autistic NDIS participant receives $32,800 in NDIS funding per annum, while autistic children aged under seven receive on average $16,700 per year under the NDIS.
However, it’s important to remember that no two NDIS plans are the same – and funding varies depending on the needs of an individual participant. If you’re not currently receiving NDIS funding and think you may be eligible, it’s worth organising a planning meeting. A planning meeting with the NDIA is the first step on your NDIS journey. Disability Plan Services can help you gather the right evidence and establish your short and long-term goals to ensure you receive the funding you need.
If you’ve got this far and feel overwhelmed by the process of managing your NDIS plan, it might be time to consider plan management. A plan manager can help you to make the most of your NDIS funding, while also taking away the stress of paperwork, invoices, claims, fund-tracking, financial reporting, and more.
The best part? Plan management is no extra cost to you, so you won’t have to worry about cutting something out of your NDIS plan to make way for a reputable plan manager like Disability Plan Services. All you have to do is request Disability Plan Services as your plan manager during your planning meeting with the NDIS or contact us beforehand to discuss your options.
If you have further questions about the NDIS funding autism supports or services, we’re here to help. Disability Plan Services is a registered NDIS Provider. Our team are friendly, experienced NDIS Plan Managers who know how to make the most of your funding. To receive assistance in managing your NDIS plan, support coordination or to learn more about how much is NDIS funding for autism, contact our team by calling 1800 312 870 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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