NDIS information is unreliable

The NDIS regularly posts its Q&A items. For example, the NDIA's Q&A - 9 April 2018 says:

My son has Autism level 1 and not eligible for the NDIS, however he was eligible for previous government support. Why can he not access the NDIS and what other avenues do we now have?

The ECEI approach provides an opportunity for children aged 0-6 years of age with developmental delay or disability to access timely, targeted and individualised short term support, build on family strengths and available community and mainstream supports. Early Childhood Partners will work with families and carers to link them into programs in the community which help them to support their child.

Under the ECEI approach, children who require longer term disability supports are supported to access the NDIS and will develop an NDIS plan with the Early Childhood Partner.

Existing programs such as Helping Children with Autism (HCWA) and Better Start early intervention support will progressively transition to the NDIS, as children in those programs access the NDIS while other aspects of these programs will continue to operate until June 2019 (South Australia and the ACT excluded). Programs and resources include: 

  • Early Days workshops, PlayConnect playgroups, Better Start Playgroup community events and the Raising Children Network website
  • Better Start Registration and Information Service (RIS) provided by Carers Australia
  • Autism Advisor Services provided by Autism Associations in each state and territory
  • Autism Specific Early Learning and Care Centres (ASELCCs).

Not all autistic children diagnosed with DSM-5 Level 1 severity are "not eligible for the NDIS". Some are eligible ... eligibility may depend on how effectively you advocate for your child. This is not fair.

Notice, the answer does not explain "whe he cannot access the NDIS". Nor does it say what other avenues are available where the NDIS has been rolled out. It does not even attempt to answer the question that it poses.

Note that good/best practice for most autistic children requires significantly more than building "on family strengths and available community and mainstream supports". This Q&A answer demonstrates that the NDIA has a very poor understanding of autistic children and their needs ... and is not recognising and addressing, let alone, meeting those needs.

The NDIA has no requirement that Early Childhood Partners or their staff "supporting" autistic children have any knowledge, training or experience of autism spectrum disorder (ASD). The plans they propose for autistic children are of very variable quality; mostly they deny autistic children good/best practice and/or evidence-based early intervention.

The NDIA's Early Childhood Partners can only link autistic children "into programs in the community" when the programs they need actually exist. Too often, the programs that autistic children need simply do not exist or cannot be accessed locally. The NDIA and governments are doing little or nothing to ensure necessary programs for autistic children actually exist and are accessible.

Better Start is irrelevant for autistic children.

The much valued Autism Advisor service is not available in South Australia or the ACT (there is no longer an autism association in the ACT). The NDIA is abolishing this service; it has not intention or plan to replace it. So families of newly diagnosed autistic children cannot get impartial, comprehensive and accurate advice about good/best practice early intervention and ongoing services & supports for their autistic child. Without comprehensive impartial advice they cannot make informed decisions/choices.

Very few autistic children have access to an ASELCC. Access is far from equitable. The only state/territory where access might be equitable, the ACT, does not have an ASELCC.

Note that the Joint Standing Committee on the NDIS publish a report describing numerous issues with the NDIA's ECEI Approach but neither the NDIA nor the Government has a discernible response to the committee's findings.