letter/email

letter: exclusion of autism from NDIS Independent Advisory Council

The Hon Christian Porter MP
Minister for Social Services
Parliament House
CANBERRA ACT 2600

cc: The Hon Jane Prentice MP, Assistant Minister for Social Services and Disability Services; Mr Alastair McEwin, Disability Discrimination Commissioner; Mr David Bowen, NDIA CEO; Dr Helen Nugent AO, Chair of the NDIA Board.

 

Dear The Hon. C. Porter MP

autism/ASD and DSP eligibility

Government and Executive Services Branch
Department of Social Services

 

Dear sir/madam

Thank you for your letter/response (MC17-006035, 20/4/2017) to A4's letter (29/3/2017).

In the previous letter, Autism Aspergers Advocacy Australia (known as A4) expressed concern that "the wording that Government uses appears to exclude autistic people from the Disability Support Pension" and asked whether that was the Government's intent. 

Secret NDIA business - no ABA for school students

A month ago, a NDIS planner in the ACT told a mother that the NDIA had "two publically available reports that the NDIS is using to avoid funding ABA therapies in kids aged 5 and above i.e. school-aged kids".  The NDIS planner told the mother:

  1. once kids reach school, the schools are meant to fund appropriate behavioural management plans (also occupational and speech therapy),
  2. as kids after school are too tired to have therapy, then these unnamed studies state that ABA therapy is no longer effective, and
  3. the NDIS would not fund ABA for kids at school. 

ASD advocates in the ACT call to register behavioural clinicians

Speaking Out for Autism Spectrum Disorder (SOfASD), a local ASD advocacy group in the ACT, wrote to the ACT Minister for Education raising concerns about the lack if discernible progress with getting registered/certified behavioural service and support for autistic students in ACT schools. SOfASD asked for a meeting but the Minister's response ignored their request.

FoI request: NDIA's Townsville early intervention experiment

See http://a4.org.au/node/2059. It seems that the NDIS simply "lost" this matter. AEIOU told A4 they have no idea what this was about. The NDIS has not published anything we could find about this trial. A4 doubts that this trial ever existed.


Dear Mr Buckley

Please find attached correspondence acknowledging your request under the Freedom of Information Act 1982.

Disability Support Pension - are autistic people eligible?

Dear the Hon Jane Prentice MP

We thank you and Mr Russell de Burgh for your response (MC17-003466 on 28/3/2017) to A4's email, and especially for specifically answering the questions we asked.

The webpage your response refers to, https://www.humanservices.gov.au/customer/services/centrelink/disability-support-pension, says (repeatedly) that people who are either "permanently blind" or " have a physical, intellectual or psychiatric condition" may be eligible for Disability Support Pension. We understand that people who to not satisfy this description are not eligible. This description of eligible people excludes most autistic people. Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is not regarded as a "psychiatric condition" even though the diagnostic criteria are described in the DSM-5, a manual of mental disorders. Current estimates suggest under 50% of autistic people have "intellectual impairment". ASD is not physical impairment. The Australian Bureau of Statistics estimated that in 2012, 73% of autistic Australians have severe or profound disability (limitations on core activities), so it would seem that a high proportion of autistic adults should be eligible for DSP.

Follow-up with NDIA on Early Intervention (cont.)

Dear Mr Buckley,

Please find attached correspondence from William Garton.  Feel free to contact me if you have any questions in regards to this correspondence.

Kind Regards

Executive Assistant to William Garton,
General Manager – Access and Operations Management,
Participants and Planning
National Disability Insurance Agency


Mr Bob Buckley
Convenor
Autism Aspergers Advocacy Australia (A4)

Dear Mr Buckley,

Thank you for your correspondence dated 2 February 2017.

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