By bobb |

AEIOU Foundation has adapted its service model delivery to best support families under the NDIS trial. For information about AEIOU Foundation’s fee structure in Adelaide, click here.

AEIOU advises the aforementioned fee fact sheet does not cater to individual family circumstances and all families should contact our Parent Liaison and Fees Coordinator for specific information.


AEIOU Foundation was established in 2005, and operates nine centres across Queensland.

AEIOU’s service model is based on the delivery of specialised early intervention within a curriculum that meets the Australian Good Practice Guidelines, with practices based on research and evidence.

Children in the program have typically received four hours of early intervention each day, within the framework of specialised day care. This was designed to address both the learning needs of children with autism, and the care needs of families. Children typically enrol full-time initially, and then transition to part-time placements as they build skills, with support, into a mainstream setting.

Children benefit from AEIOU Foundation’s curriculum and high staff-to-child ratio. The curriculum is underpinned by a thorough understanding of autism and child development, is monitored with prospective outcomes-based research, is autism-specific, and includes the skills necessary for independence and successful mainstream school transition. The staffing requirements and the unique service means it costs AEIOU Foundation approximately $50,000 per child, per year, to deliver the program.

There are 2 applicable funding support items under the NDIS:

  • 16006: Trans-disciplinary early childhood intervention.
  • 16003: Specialised group early childhood intervention.

AEIOU Foundation fee philosophy

AEIOU believes families accessing services that meet the 2012 Australian Good Practice Guidelines, in a multidisciplinary, group setting (including at AEIOU centres) should receive funding through ITEM 16003, with the number of funded hours based on the objective assessment of the child’s need. This would start at 20 hours per week (full-time) and reduce to 10 hours (part-time) as skills develop, eventually moving to a full-time mainstream setting funded through ITEM 16006.  This funding model fits best with the evidence-based guidelines for good practice (Prior & Roberts, 2012).

While other Support Items indicate the preference of the NDIS to deliver therapy by the family in the home, AEIOU contends there is no evidence for the effectiveness of this approach for children with autism, particularly those with high needs. A recent Cochrane review, “…did not find statistical evidence of gains from parent mediated approaches in most primary outcomes assessed… other than positive changes in patterns of parent-child instruction … quality of the current evidence is low”  (p. 2., Oono, Honey, & McConachie, 2013).

An Australian study of a 2 hour per week parent training program in Australia (Building Blocks, ASPECT, see Roberts et al., 2011) showed similar outcomes in the control and intervention groups, again suggesting a parent-mediated program does not yield significant benefits. The authors suggest, “The heterogeneity of the autism population indicates that a range of intervention options is necessary to meet the needs of children with autism and their families” (p. 1553).

Operating an early intervention program under the NDIS trial funding scheme

In order to fit with current funding, and to ensure affordability, AEIOU will offer both part-time (5 days per fortnight) and full-time (10 days per fortnight) placements for children with autism under the NDIS. A part-time placement will operate with two consecutive days in the program, in one week, and three consecutive days in the program the following week.

As a family you will need to negotiate the funding package with the NDIS that provides the level of service that you feel best fits the needs of your child and your family. AEIOU Foundation can assist you with this process.

Speak to our Parent Liaison and Fees Coordinator for information that may assist you in this process. Phone 07 1300 ASD HELP (1300 273 435) or email for more information.

Support Items that may be relevant to families with a young child with autism


Support Items

Part # Description UoM Quote Required $
*Trans disciplinary early childhood intervention 16006 A coordinated and integrated program where multiple professionals share responsibility in evaluating, planning and implementing supports to improve capacity of a child with disability or developmental delay and their family. Quote based on annual amount. Each Y $12,000
Specialised individual therapy for early childhood 16005 Individual specialist interventions to assist a child with disability or developmental delay and their family in home, care, community and education settings. Hour N $164
*Specialised group early childhood interventions 16003 Group based specialist interventions to assist a child with disability or developmental delay and their family in home, care, community and education settings. Maximum group of 4. Hour N $54.67
Early childhood interventions - travel time 16002 Group multidisciplinary early childhood interventions and family focused information and training Hour N $164

*Families accessing AEIOU Foundation’s service may be able to access funding under two support items, including Item 16006 and 16003. If you would like information or support to best advocate for your child’s needs, please contact our team.



Oono, I. P., Honey, E. J., & McConachie, H. (2013). Parent-mediated early intervention for young children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) (Review). Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2013, 4. Art. No.: CD009774, 1-99. doi: 10.1002/14651858.CD009774.pub2

Prior, M., & Roberts, J. (2012). Early Intervention for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders: ‘Guidelines for Good Practice’. Retrieved from

Roberts, J., Williams, K., Carter, M., Evans, D., Parmenter, T., Silove, N., et al. (2011). A randomised controlled trial of two early intervention programs for young children with autism: Centre-based with parent program and home-based. Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders, 5(4), 1553-1566. doi: DOI: 10.1016/j.rasd.2011.03.001