Mild autism cases are not the NDIS’s core concern

The Australian (editorial)

The following are the (unAustralian) views of The Australian newspaper's editorial staff. A4 rejects these views.

The National Disability Insurance Agency has made a prudent call in deciding that some autism sufferers will no longer qualify automatically for assistance under its $22 billion scheme. On Saturday, Rick Morton reported that officials are endeavouring to rein in costs by paring back the number of people with autism receiving funding packages. Among National Disability Insurance Scheme participants, 29 per cent have autism. Autism is the single biggest condition listed among the 30,000 children aged 14 and under. Of these, almost half are regarded as high-functioning with a “low level of disability”. However fraught, now is the time to resolve eligibility issues before the NDIS reaches full rollout in 2020, when it is set to serve 475,000 people.

NDIS bid to restrict access by rewriting rules on autism

A radical plan to alter the definition of autism will be the cornerstone of a push to restrict access to the $22 billion National Disability Insurance Scheme, which could see thousands of people with substantial support needs removed from the system entirely.

The agency in charge says the proposed redesign will dismantle the idea of an autism “spectrum” — an idea coming back in vogue globally — and place people into specific “subtypes” based on individual characteristics.

Autism to face cutbacks in NDIS as secret plan revealed

Rick Morton

A secret plan to restrict the access of autistic people to the $22 billion National Disability Insurance Scheme would prevent them from qualifying “automatically” for taxpayer-funded support as part of a sweeping overhaul to rein in costs.

The Weekend Australian has confirmed bureaucrats have been working on a strategy since late last year to pare back the number of people with autism receiving funding packages.

to NDIA CEO & Chair

Dr Helen Nugent
Chairman

Mr Robert De Luca
Chief Executive Officer

Thank you for you letter, 18 May 2018 in response to A4's media release.

Mr Peter de Natris did not "advise [me] by phone on 15 May 2018" of anything. He did not call me. I note that a spokesperson for your organisation told The Guardian (see https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2018/may/18/ndis-mistakenly-posts-changes-restricting-access-for-autistic-children) that someone from the NDIA called me ... but that is not true.

Autistic adults need more help: expert

There is concern older Australians on the autism spectrum are being let down by mental health professionals who lack awareness of the developmental condition.

Researchers are calling for urgent training of psychiatrists on the diagnosis and management of autism in adults, who are at greater risk of suicide.

Older Australians on the autism spectrum are being let down by a gap in mental health services for autistic adults, a gathering of psychiatrists has been told.

NDIS legal bill hitting $10m a year

The agency running the ­$22 billion National Disability ­Insurance Scheme is spending up to $10 million a year on barristers and legal services in a bid to arrest the dramatic rise in the number of people successfully appealing for more money in their support packages or trying to get into the scheme.

The agency has been explicit in its fears over the future of the scheme, saying the risk to its ­financial stability is “extreme” from unfavourable court and tribunal decisions that have the ­potential to “vastly increase the scope of both access and reasonable and necessary supports”.

'Set up to fail': Canberra's NDIS drop out rate soars as calls grow for overhaul

ACT MLA Michael Pettersson at the first day of the inquiry on Friday. Photo: Dion Georgopoulos

Sherryn Groch

Canberrans are leaving the National Disability Insurance Scheme at the highest rate in the country, as services and advocates in the ACT call for an overhaul of the scheme's internal bureaucracy.

Between September and December 2017, 139 people joined the scheme in the ACT but 101 others left. Figures provided by the National Disability Insurance Agency, which runs the scheme, confirmed 381 Canberrans had exited the NDIS since 2013.

Melbourne boy with autism attacked by spanner-wielding teens outside Northcote school

James Hancock

The mother of a boy with autism who was assaulted with spanners outside a Melbourne school wants police to charge his teenage attackers.

Quinn Lahiff-Jenkins, 14, was attacked outside Northcote High School, in the city's inner-north, on Tuesday afternoon.

They had armed themselves with spanners and turned on another boy when he tried to help the victim.

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