Updated: May 4
Are you confused and/or overwhelmed by the process required to access NDIS? Here it is summarised for you below. I assess children and adults for autism and ADHD.
You may not need a speech assessment or to see a paediatrician to access the NDIS. Colleagues of mine have discovered that the assessment and the evidence of 'impaired capacity' has been adequate. We show impaired capacity levels by doing the ABAS-3 for children and the WHODAS 2.0 for adults. These assessments ask questions about what you are not able to do for yourself and where you need help and support.
Based on this new information I suggest submitting the NDIS application as soon as you receive the autism assessment. If NDIS require further information they will ask.
To access NDIS with a diagnosis of autism, children need reports from:
Speech Pathologist/Therapist - I have learned from a colleague that a speech assessment is not required, only suggested. Children can be accepted to NDIS without it!
Psychologist or Child Psychiatrist
To access NDIS for with a diagnosis of autism, adults need reports from:
If you just want to know:
If you're not going to access the NDIS then you probably don't need all of the reports listed. If it's just for your own satisfaction then it may be that you only want one report. You can get other reports later if you want them.
If you're not sure, you may like to take this free online test before you spend a lot of money to find out. There are some free screening assessments at this page below. They do not replace a formal assessment, but may help you to decide if you may benefit from an assessment. If you're not sure, get in touch and we can discuss your needs. www.feelhappynow.com.au/autism
What is the best order?
I'm often asked about the right or best order of doing things when getting an autism and/or ADHD assessment. As you are probably beginning realise, nothing is ever simple and straightforward on this journey! There is no one right way. However, I'll fill you in on some of the feedback I have heard recently. Be mindful of asking your own questions of each service before making a decision.
My Number One Top Tip
GET ON THE WAITLIST FOR ALL SERVICES AT SEVERAL PLACES
AND TAKE THE FIRST ONE THAT COMES UP!
If you don't want to be on a waitlist for psychology, then call me.
A report from a psychologist is needed for adults and children to access the NDIS. As this is an area where the psychologist must have additional training, so not every psychologist can do the assessment. As with many health services, as outlined above, there are often long waitlists. The advice is the same - call around and get on waitlists.
I provide a comprehensive report with various assessments preferred by the NDIS that provides supporting evidence for your claim for NDIS. Don't forget you are making an insurance claim to access NDIS and you must prove that you or the person you are claiming for need it and that it is "reasonable and necessary and good value for money."
To find out more about the assessments I do please click the button below and it will take to the info page.
Some people have found that if they already have their psychology assessment, they have been able to get an earlier appointment with the paediatrician. In one case, only an 8 week wait. That may be true if you already have a speech assessment, I don't know. But it's worth asking if that might bump you up the list. In some cases it has been beneficial to get the psych and/or speech assessments done while waiting for the paed.
Paediatricians - there are long waitlists in Perth varying from 6-12 months to nothing available as the doctor has closed their books.
Get on the waitlists
With that in mind some people get onto the waitlist at several places and jump into the first cancellation or other appointment that becomes available. Call country areas and ask. Don't forget you need a referral from your GP to see a paediatrician if you want to claim the Medicare rebate.
Call interstate and see if you can get a telehealth appointment and get on a waitlist
I have heard waitlists in Melbourne are shorter, but some won't do telehealth. Don't give up. Keep searching telehealth options which are growing all the time.
Access community health centres
If you already have an association with a community health centre where your child may be receiving speech therapy for example, you can ask to see the paediatrician and possibly the psychologist. Often community centres are free, but there are usually waitlist. If you're not connected yet, get on a waitlist.
Speech Pathology - This is NOT required to apply for NDIS
For a child to register for NDIS they must have all three reports and supporting evidence. You must get a speech assessment. You may argue why - your child can talk. Speech therapist focus on communication, not just speech. Being able to talk is only a small part of speech therapy.
As communication difficulties is one of the three criteria for autism diagnosis, it does make sense to see a speechie. They can help people understand communication, improve talking and the content of conversations - one of the big struggles for people with autism/who are autistic. They can be a valuable asset on your team. You don't need a referral to see a speech therapist.
Adults do not need a report from a speech therapist to access the NDIS.