A4 appreciates the report from the Joint Parliamentary Committee on the NDIS resulting from its Inquiry into Early Intervention. The report was released on 7/12/2017. Notable observations from the report include:
- "The committee ... is concerned that the current access arrangements are potentially advantaging families who can afford to source expensive assessments and reports to expedite their child's access to the Scheme."
- "Planners should, at the least, have awareness of recommended intervention guidelines and therapies for the major disability cohorts, and demonstrate sensitivity in their communications with families."
- "The committee noted that the funding shortfalls and inconsistencies in plans appear to particularly affect children with ASD and those with hearing impairments."
- "that the level of funding granted in many plans does not meet [autistic] participants' needs and does not align with recommended evidence-based practice guidelines."
- "With almost 40 per cent of NDIS participants age 0–6 years having ASD as their primary disability, it is of paramount importance that the NDIA urgently addresses the issues of scope and level of funding in plans for children with ASD."
The report make numerous recommendations including several to improve how the NDIS tackles early intervention for autistic children. The following recommendations mention autistic children explicitly:
The committee recommends the NDIA liaise with the sector to co-design and develop a purpose-built assessment tool for children with ASD in Australia.
The committee recommends the NDIA urgently address the issues of scope and level of funding in Plans for children with autism with a view to ensuring that recommended evidence-based supports and therapies are fully funded.
Also, Recommendation 8 in the report is made in the context of especially poor NDIS planning for autistic children.
The PDF report can be downloaded from the committees' website at https://www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Bus... or from the link below.