Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD) is a fairly common behavioural condition that manifests itself in young children, usually when they’re between 6 and 8. The impact that ODD has on a child and their family can be very difficult and affect their lives in many complex ways. While lots is still unknown about ODD, one thing is clear – early intervention can help minimise the impact of the condition as the child grows.

In this article we explore how the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) can help children with ODD access the support they need, how to apply for the NDIS, and what you can do to get an NDIS plan that you’re happy with.

Does the NDIS fund supports for ODD?

Yes, many children with ODD receive support through the NDIS. The NDIS supports people with a permanent and significant disability, so they can achieve their goals and live the life that they choose.

Because ODD can have a lasting and profound impact on a person in many complex ways, it meets the criteria for NDIS support.

How the NDIS can support your child

There are lots of ways the NDIS can support you and your child in managing their ODD. Every NDIS participant’s support plan is unique, because it’s created specifically for them based on their situation, support needs, goals, and more.   

While ODD manifests itself in many complex and varied ways, here are some supports that children with the condition commonly access using their NDIS funding:

  • Speech therapy, to develop their communication skills in different settings

  • Occupational therapy, to create a comprehensive strategy for your child’s treatment

  • Psychological support, to help develop mechanisms to manage their behaviour

  • Family therapy, to support and strengthen the family unit during difficult times

  • Group classes or activities, to develop social skills and learn to be flexible with others

  • Respite care, to give you – the primary carer - a bit of a restorative break

Accessing the NDIS

To apply for the NDIS, you’ll need to complete an , which includes questions about your child and their disability.

A big part of the Access Request Form is focused on giving the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) an understanding of your child’s disability and the impact it has on their day-to-day life, so they can be sure they’re eligible. These sections need to be completed by a GP or health professional who has treated or assessed your child, and is able to provide an accurate summary of their condition.

Once your request has been processed, you’ll be contacted by the NDIA to confirm whether your application was successful. After this, you’ll be asked to arrange a planning meeting. This is your opportunity to give the NDIA a more in depth and holistic understanding of how your child’s ODD affects their life and how the NDIS could help them to manage their condition and achieve their goals, for both the short and long term.

After the planning meeting, your child will receive an NDIS plan, which contains information about the funding they’ve received and the supports they can access with it.

The best evidence to show in your planning meeting

The NDIS is an evidence based program, so the more quality evidence you can bring to your planning meeting the more likely you are to get an NDIS plan you’re happy with.  

When we say quality evidence, we mean a recent, written report from a health professional that clearly highlights the extent of your child’s ODD and the ways it impacts their life. It should basically give the NDIA an unambiguous summary of the support your child needs and why it’s needed, so they can then create an NDIS plan to do just that.  

If your child is under 7

If your child’s younger than 7 years old, they’ll need to join Early Childhood Early Intervention (ECEI). This is how the NDIS provides support to kids aged between 0 and 6 and there are a lot of similarities between the two, with ECEI mainly focused on therapeutic supports. Once they turn 7, they should be able to transition to the NDIS.

You’re not on your own

Navigating the NDIS can feel a bit overwhelming at times – particularly if you’re already busy with other things in your life. That’s why the NDIS offers funding for a service called NDIS plan management.

A plan manager is a professional who looks after all the day-to-day admin that comes with an NDIS plan, like paying providers’ invoices and keeping records of all the supports your child has received. This service is funded by the NDIS, meaning if you ask for it in your planning meeting, your child’s plan will include additional budget to pay for it.

If you choose Plan Partners as your plan manager, you’ll also get access to our Dashboard, a handy online tool that makes it easier to manage your child’s budgets. Through the Dashboard, you can track spending, approve invoices and get handy tips to get the most out of your child’s funds. You can also reach out to our team of passionate and caring experts for all questions about ODD funding and supports.

The NDIS also offers some extra support for parents who find it particularly difficult to understand their child’s NDIS plan or connect with service providers. If you relate to this, a support coordinator helps you overcome these barriers so you can understand and implement your child’s plan, including finding and connecting with the best providers for your child’s situation. While anyone can get funding for plan management, there is eligibility criteria for support coordination.