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What Makes a Great Autism Assessment?

There are 4 things that make a great autism assessment. It is written as an argument, provides supporting evidence, has recommendations in NDIS language and you should be able to understand it.

Why An Assessment Needs To Be An Argument

You're going to be using the report to ask for change, intervention and support. It will be used to advocate for yourself or someone you care about. You want your report to support you when you are advocating or asking what you need.

Why You Need Supporting Evidence

When you need to win an argument you provide supporting evidence, whether it's in every day life or to advocate for your needs. In particular, the NDIS is an insurance scheme. It works like any insurance scheme. If you crash your car, the insurance company looks at the damage and decides how much money it will take to fix your car. The NDIS will look at your report and decide how much funding you need to 'build capacity'. NDIS do not pay for therapy. They pay for capacity building towards the best life you can have.

NDIS prefer to see an adaptive behaviour assessment to decide how much capacity building you need. I always include this with every assessment. The adaptive behaviour assessment is the evidence of the help you need. They will usually request one in the application form. The Vineland is preferred for children and the WHODAS for adults. If this is not included with your assessment it may cost you and additional $400-$500 to get one done separately. The adaptive behaviour assessment also helps back up the level of autism in the diagnosis - Level 1,2 or 3. Each level depends upon how much help you need.

You may also need evidence for school or work to be able to provide the assistance, accommodation and support you need. This is why I always include a sensory profile with every assessment. It will provide evidence if you need a movement or quiet time break at work or school for example or why you can't wear the uniform. If this is not included it will cost you an additional $400-$500 to have it done separately later.

These types of evidence support your requests for therapies such as occupational and speech therapy and psychology.

Recommendation In NDIS Language

Having recommendations in NDIS language is absolutely essential for you to get a great NDIS plan. NDIS do not pay for therapy or certain types of mental health. They fund capacity building and this is some of the important language that should be used. Knowing what funding is available and what it is called with NDIS will help you get the support you need because it has been written in the report correctly e.g. Short Term Accommodation is the term for respite these days. This funding can also be used for going on 'capacity building' camps. The recommendations need to be related to the disability (sorry for the term - it's still NDIS speak while they're catching up to neuro-affirming language).

You Should Be Able To Understand It

If you've paid for the report and I believe you should be able to read and understand it. It should be written in straight forward language with all fancy words explained.

You should have a follow up appointment after your assessment to read through the report with the person who wrote it. It should be explained to you. You should be able to ask questions. You can collaborate about the recommendations and your needs. You should be able to ask what happens next and what you need to do.

What I Do

I do all of the above and also complete my part of the NDIS application, Centrelink forms and a summary letter. You should be able to request this from the person who did the assessment.


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