Mr Bob Buckley
Autism Asperger’s Advocacy Australia
Dear Mr Buckley
Thank you for your email of 12 October 2016 to the Assistant Minister for Social Services and
Disability Services, the Hon Jane Prentice MP, regarding best practice early intervention for
autistic children and continuity of supports under the NDIS. The Minister has asked me to reply
to you on her behalf.
I appreciate you taking the time to raise you concerns regarding the provision of services for
children with autism. Your input and that of a range of leading Australian early childhood
intervention practitioners and researchers has led to the development of the Early Childhood
Early Intervention (ECEI) approach. The ECEI approach has been designed to help identify
the type and level of early intervention support meets each child needs to achieve their best
outcomes. The approach recognises that children with autism require early intervention
supports depending on their individual needs and that one size does not fit all.
We are working with a range of partners to deliver the ECEI approach. Partners will need to
demonstrate strong early intervention expertise and utilise best-practice approaches, in
particular in working closely with families to understand and build skills to support their child.
We will closely monitor service provider performance and outcomes to ensure all children
receive an appropriate level and quality of support.
I acknowledge your concern in relation to the transition of the Helping Children with Autism
(HCWA) program into the NDIS. The Department of Social Services and the NDIA are working
closely to ensure this is a smooth transition. HCWA has been identified for transition to the
NDIS. Once children transferring from HCWA have an NDIS plan approved under the NDIS,
their access to HCWA funding will cease as they will then be eligible to receive funding under
the NDIS. For those children under 6 they will be to access the early intervention supports
I look forward to meeting with you shortly to discuss your concerns.
Thank you again for your email.
National Disability Insurance Agency
2 December 2016
I have no record of sending a message to Assistant Minister, The Hon. Jane Prentice MP, on 12/10/2016 though I did send several letters around that time.
In recent letters I expressed a range of concerns: concerns with "the transition of the Helping Children with Autism (HCWA) program into the NDIS" are among the concerns that I raised. My main concern relating to early intervention is that autistic children can get NDIS funding for best practice early intervention for their ASD and that their families get comprehensive and impartial advice about the full range of conflicting views on the subject.
I sincerely hope that at least children under 8 years of age (not "under 6 years" of age as described in the NDIA's letter above), that is children aged 0-7 years, will be able to access funding for early intervention (I don't understand what "early intervention supports" means).