This article is about an inspiring teen NDIS participant located in the Hunter Region, NSW.

Reason for Contacting Us

The family contacted AAYS saying they needed help understanding the NDIS plan and how to get the most out of their funding to help their child.

The person had been accessing the NDIS since they were 13 years old under NDIA Plan Management. The family described they felt as if they ‘weren’t using the funding to the full extent’, so they were receiving minimal support and therapy.

The family wasn’t sure who to turn to for help and support. The participant was living with autism and a defiance disorder.

As a teenager, the person had complex behaviours that required clinical intervention, however, the family didn’t know how to access the services appropriately. We were grateful to receive their phone call to assist.

Initial Consultation – Identifying Supports Required

When we first met with this family, we discovered that they were due for a plan review. We assisted them with their plan review, where we requested a three-month extension. In that timeframe, we were able to get to know the family, their needs and understand the difficulties they had managing the funding prior.

Unfortunately, there have been instances where families lose funding because it has not been spent. It was our intention to safeguard them from further sub optimisation.

We also identified the reports that would be needed from the current service providers (such as Occupational Therapy Assessments) that would be submitted to the NDIS to gain new supports that would benefit the family in the next NDIS plan.

The family was also unsure of the specifics of NDIS Plan Management, so we covered a lot of that too. The family expressed a desire to work with certain non-registered companies that would provide quality support for them.

Providing NDIS Coordination & Management

AAYS was engaged to provide both NDIS Support Coordination and NDIS Plan Management.

The first thing we organised was for an Occupational Therapist to visit the family and perform a functional assessment. The OT then writes a report which can serve as justification as to why the client requires extra funding for ongoing support.

The OT will also provide a list of recommendations to help the participant towards their meaningful goals, such as equipment, assistive devices, the need for other healthcare professionals and so on.

We also organised a Behaviour Therapist as well as support workers who primarily worked on social skills and independent living skills. We assisted with the scheduling of these supports, and the participant received fortnightly sessions with each.

The family has now received these supports for 18 months and have reported the participant has a better understanding of their abilities.

Considerations

As mentioned above, the family described that the NDIS plan was not well managed for several years before meeting with AAYS. Unfortunately, this means that the client had two years of less than ideal support.

This can have a detrimental effect on the person’s capacity as well as their NDIS goals of living independently and increasing their social skills.

Also, since COVID, the participant has been receiving their sessions via Telehealth. As a result, we’ve also coordinated a tablet device to get the most out of their sessions.

Achieving a Huge Win

The participant really loved emergency services and has a huge interest in photography. The client would love to visit the community and meet service people.

We assisted the client in making up little flashcards to introduce themselves and explain who they are.

The participant loves to introduce themselves to the police, the fire brigade and the ambulance and ask for a photograph opportunity. This is a lovely approach, and oftentimes, the participant receives a tour of the facilities.

In fact, one time, the participant was invited into a fire brigade and got to sit in the fire truck!

This was a huge win for both the participant and for the community to meet this inspiring person.

Feedback

The family reported that their child was fantastic and adapted well to all the changes and there were a lot of changes which happened quite quickly. They said the participant had formed a bond with their new support workers instantly. The participant did attend group activities, at times, while developing social skills, these group activities could be overwhelming at times, so we made the appropriate adjustments.

The family reported that they are happy they made the change and it has been a positive experience.

Final Thoughts

Initially, the family didn’t know the doors to open to gain help and support. Not knowing the path to take for their child made them feel overwhelmed and confused, which made managing funding even more difficult.

Our door is always open (figuratively speaking) and we serve all NDIS participants to the best of our ability.

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