concern over NDIA's new approach to Early Intervention for autistic children

Subject: NDIA's new approach to Early Intervention for autistic children
Date: Sun, 10 Jul 2016 23:20:44 +1000
From: Bob Buckley (A4 Convenor) <convenor@a4.org.au>
Organization: Autism Aspergers Advocacy Australia (A4)
To: david.bowen@ndis.gov.au
CC: SKORDIS, Anne; DE NATRIS, Peter; GLANVILLE, Louise

Dear Mr Bowen

From material available on various websites, we get the impression (see http://a4.org.au/node/1248) that the NDIA is implementing its new approach to Early Intervention for children with disability up to 6 years of age. We are disappointed by the lack of consultation over and information about the NDIA's new Early Intervention approach as it affects autistic children and their families.

Please provide answers to the following questions.

  1. what were the outcomes in the Nepean Blue Mountains trial? Is there a report?
  2. previously, the HCWA scheme provided Autism Advisors to provide families with impartial information about early intervention? Will the Partners be expected or required to provide families with impartial advice about early intervention for autism/ASD? Or will this function be somewhere else in the NDIS system? If so, where? How will the NDIA ensure advice provided is impartial? How was the issue of "impartial advice about early intervention for ASD" addressed and assessed in the Nepean Blue Mountains trial ... and what were the results?
  3. How will the NDIA/NDIS "determine the reasonable and necessary supports that will assist to achieve an outcome(s)"? What advice/training does the NDIS give its staff engaged in (performing) this process? And what is the process?
  4. will children who may have autism spectrum disorder be referred for formal diagnosis? How will this work? Is it a goal to diagnose autistic children earlier than in the past? [Note: pre-NDIS, nearly 3/4 of children who got/get Commonwealth Government funded early intervention had/have an autism/ASD diagnosis].
  5. who are the Partners?
  6. Previously, the NDIA commissioned specific advice on the Early Intervention needs of autistic children. For a time, the advice that the NDIA received was available on the NDIS website (see http://a4.org.au/node/1191) ... but we cannot find it on the NDIS website now.
    1. Is the specific advice on Early Intervention for autistic children still available on the NDIS website? If not, why not?
    2. How does the expert/specialist advice from this report influence the NDIA's new approach to Early Intervention for autistic children? 

--
yours sincerely,
Bob Buckley
Convenor, Autism Aspergers Advocacy Australia (A4)
website: http://a4.org.au/

A4 is the national grassroots organisation advocating for autistic people, their families, carers and associates. A4 is internet based so that Australians anywhere can participate.

“The first step in solving any problem is recognising there is one.” Jeff Daniels as Will McEvoy in The Newsroom.


Note: A4 wrote to the NDIA's Board (and the CEO) on 12/4/2016 with concerns about the NDIA's EI Approach, particularly in relation to autistic children (see http://a4.org.au/node/1209). While David Bowen, the NDIA's CEO, responded that the NDIA "will consider [A4's concerns] in the ongoing development and implementation of the Early Childhood Early Intervention Approach", A4 cannot as yet discern evidence or indications of the concerns of the ASD community, or of expert advice, having any discernible affect on NDIA decisions about services for autistic children, especially early intervention for the children's ASD.

As yet, the NDIA has not responded to (or even acknowledged) the letter above.

see also: