emerging description of the new NDIS Early Intervention approach

The NDIA has released some new information  about how it will deliver Early Intervention for children. I surmise that the approach described in the NDIA's Market Position Statement for South Australia (June 2016) will apply pretty generally. This information is aimed at service providers, not at (prospective) NDIS participants, so it does not really explain the new approach for that audience. 

On page 22, the document says:

NDIS rollout in Sydney: not perfect but at least it's here

Connie Vella had high expectations for the National Disability Insurance Scheme and what it would mean for her four-year-old daughter Hannah, who has bilateral hearing loss.

The Cranebrook woman went to her meeting with an NDIS planner earlier this year, well prepared with quotes from a range of hearing specialists and a list of the supports Hannah would require.

All up, the quotes came to $34,000 including early intervention services, speech pathology, language therapy, a school readiness program and hearing aids.

Mrs Vella was stunned when the planner returned with a package worth $12,000.

"It was a massive gap," she said. "We are supposed to be no worse off under the NDIS. We're a lot worse off. I'm a good advocate for Hannah but there are families out there who'll just accept what's on offer and that worries me for these children."

Variability of autism/ASD prevalence between Australian states

The histogram shows the prevalence calculated from the population of children who receive Carer Allowance for Autistic or Asperger's Disorders (DSM-IV) or Autism Spectrum Disorder (DSM-5) at June 2014 relative to the ABS population numbers for the age group ... on both a national and a state/territory basis. 

There is clear variability in diagnosis rates between states/territories with the Northern Territory, Western Australia and the Australian Capital Territory having notably lower diagnosis rates for autism/ASD, well below the national average.

Autism listed in Australian Burden of Disease study

The latest Burden of disease study from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) puts "autism spectrum disorders" as 14th for males in their list of non-fatal burden (of disease) - see Table 4.3, page 36. "Autism spectrum disorders" rank 3rd for males ages 5-14 years in the "total burden" given in Figure 3.6, page 26, but autism is otherwise absent.  This study is based on data from 2011. 

Rethink on NDIS autism strategy

, Social Affairs reporter; Melbourne

The bosses of the $22 billion ­National Disability Insurance Agency lamented their lack of control of the autism “narrative” at a meeting this year in which they finalised a plan to curb ballooning costs, documents show.

More than a year after The Australian revealed blowouts in South Australia’s autism trial by 100 per cent, having underestimated the numbers of children with developmental delays, the National Disability Insurance Scheme board met in late January to polish off an early intervention strategy that would rely on the politically correct — and cheaper — mantra of inclusion.

Documents obtained under Freedom of Information show the agency would outsource its planning and assessment of children aged up to six to providers who “will have a capacity to provide emotional support and guidance to families, lower intensity services and support inclusion for the child in mainstream settings”.

Government not intending its autism over-diagnosis claim

A report from  the Australian National Audit Office (ANAO) said that in February 2014 the Department of Social Security (formerly FaHCSIA) funded $50,000 worth of research to establish "the extent of [ASD] over-diagnosis nationally". 

A Deputy Secretary of DSS wrote back that

this wording is not intended to presuppose the findings of the Autism CRC report.

The Department apparently accepts (does not deny) their wording clearly pre-supposes the existence of autism over-diagnosis. However, the actual intent is now unknown. It is hard to imagine how a contract could be signed without anyone noticing this (unintended?) presupposition. A4 will be disappointed in the Autism CRC if it undertook research based on the questionable premis that parents/families and/or professionals are fabricating diagnoses of a medical condition. Credible research would not presume over-diagnosis exists; it would first need to test whether over-diagnosis does exist.

New withdrawal-space guidelines for schools aimed at preventing another cage scandal

ACT schools must now follow strict new guidelines on placing students in withdrawal spaces, as part of the government's response to the autism cage scandal.

The guidelines stipulate that withdrawal spaces should not be locked and students must not be prevented from leaving.

But the protocols do include references to the potential use of physical restraint and seclusion under which a student can be confined in a room that they cannot leave. Both are considered one-off options of the last resort.

A Letter To Social Workers From Autistic Mother’s Struggling to Be Heard

Dear Social Worker,

Please understand that when you are dealing with an autistic child you may be communicating with an autistic parent.

When a mother is being misunderstood …

You may interpret her communication as obstructive when she has a social communication disability. She is doing her best. When you are starting to ‘get your back up’ please stop and rethink and rephrase.

Marking Autism Awareness Day, UN officials call for inclusive societies

1 April 2016 – On the eve of the World Autism Awareness Day, United Nations officials highlighted the contributions to humanity by people with autism, noting that shunning them is a “violation of human rights” and a “waste of human potential.”

Addressing a commemorative event this morning, UN General Assembly President Mogens Lykketoft stressed that “autism and other forms of disability are part of the human experience that contributes to human diversity.”

Pages

Subscribe to Autism Aspergers Advocacy Australia RSS