How the NDIS Supports People with Autism

The NDIS can provide supports and services for people with disability, including people with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). In fact, ASD is actually the biggest disability category funded by the NDIS. But what kind of support can the NDIS provide and how can people with ASD access that support?


Young woman sitting on lounge holding a cup of tea
Young woman sitting on lounge holding a cup of tea

NDIS eligibility & ASD


The first step in your NDIS journey is to determine if you are eligible to be part of the Scheme. This is especially important when it comes to ASD as there are different levels and the NDIS will need to consider your support needs to determine if you are eligible for a NDIS plan.


If you have level 1 ASD, the NDIS require evidence on the impacts that autism has on different aspects of your life including communication, mobility, social interaction, learning, self-care, and self-management. An occupational therapist, psychologist, or other medical professional may be able to provide written or documented evidence that you can share with the NDIA.


If you have level 2 or level 3 ASD, you are automatically considered eligible. However, it is always a good idea to have supporting evidence available to share with your Local Area Coordinator or the NDIA if needed.


Other eligibility requirements to be part of the NDIS:

  • Aged between 7* and 65 (when first accessing the scheme)

  • Australian citizen, live in Australia, and/or hold a permanent visa

  • Permanent disability

If you fit the NDIS criteria, you can complete an Access Request Form.


*People under the age of seven can still access supports through Early Childhood Early Intervention (ECEI).


What can the NDIS fund?


Every NDIS plan is unique to the person receiving it. The NDIS will consider your support needs and goals, along with their reasonable and necessary criteria to help determine the types of funded supports that may be included in your plan. Although each plan is different, there are some more common supports related to ASD that you may receive funding for. They are:

  • Speech therapy

  • Physiotherapy or occupational therapy to improve fine motor skills and concentration

  • Behavioural supports for relationship building skill development and behavioural management

  • Support work

  • Sensory items/therapeutic aids

  • Activities to support social development and interpersonal skills

Just remember that when it comes to the NDIS, evidence is everything. Make sure to be prepared for any planning meetings or plan review meetings with any supporting evidence that you can access, to help ensure your NDIS plan funding reflects your needs.


Children with autism & ECEI


Children with autism under the age of seven can access funding through the ECEI which just like the NDIS, ECEI works to provide the necessary support for people with ASD.


ECEI can:

  • Provide early intervention for a child with developmental delay or disability

  • Increase ability to do activities they need or want to do

  • Increase inclusion and participation in mainstream and community settings like childcare or recreation

  • Increase parent or guardian confidence and capacity to manage and respond to the child’s support needs

  • Connect families to support services and parent support groups

To find out more about ECEI, you can contact your nearest ECEI partner.


Who can help?


If you’re struggling to prepare for your NDIS meeting, you can discuss this with you family, friends or even a disability advocate. They can also accompany you to any meetings to assist in explaining what supports you need and how your ASD impacts you in your daily life.


You can also contact your LAC or ECEI Partner to better understand the process.


It’s always a good idea to take notes, compile evidence, write down any challenges you have, your goals and aspirations, and what supports would be beneficial for you to live your life as independently as possible.


Read more about the benefits of working with an independent, professional Plan Manager. Alternatively, contact our friendly team on 1300 322 273 or support@first2care.com.au.

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