For many people with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), the NDIS provides the chance to receive supports they’ve never had before. But what exactly does the NDIS fund and how do you go about navigating its complexities? Here, we explore the topic of autism and the NDIS and share some of our team’s top tips to assist you to navigate your NDIS journey.

Am I eligible for the NDIS?

Before embarking on your NDIS journey, you’ll first need to establish whether you’re eligible. Because there are degrees of ASD, the NDIS looks at how much support you require to determine whether you’re eligible for the Scheme.

If you have a Level 2 or Level 3 ASD diagnosis, you are automatically considered eligible for the NDIS.

If you have a Level 1 ASD diagnosis, you will be required to provide additional details on how your disability impacts your life across a number of areas, including communication, mobility, social interaction, learning, self-care, and self-management.

Of course, many people with ASD don’t fit neatly into one category and may require more support in one area than others. As the NDIS bases its decisions on evidence, the more you can show that you require support in any of the above six areas, the more likely you are to be approved for the NDIS.

To find out whether you’re eligible or request access to the Scheme, call the NDIS on 1800 800 110.

What can the NDIS fund?

The NDIS can fund a wide range of supports, depending on an individual’s situation. Every NDIS participant receives a personalised NDIS plan, which gives an overview of their situation, the supports they require, and how much funding they need.

Because every person’s situation is different, no two NDIS plans are the same. The funding you receive in your plan, and what you can spend it on, is based on your support needs and your goals – that is, what you want to achieve with the assistance of the NDIS.

These goals can be physical (“I want to be able to walk unassisted”), social (“I want to make new friends”), or independence based (“I want to build my confidence travelling alone”), but try to be as specific as possible to help ensure you get the funding you need.

While your situation and support needs will be unique, here are some popular ASD related supports and items that the NDIS can fund:

  • Physiotherapy to help develop motor skills
  • Speech therapy to help communication skills
  • Sensory toys to use as therapeutic aids
  • Holiday camps to build interpersonal skills
  • A support worker to assist around the house

You will likely come across the term, reasonable and necessary, when reading about what the NDIS will fund. This basically just means that the NDIS will only fund things that are directly related to your disability and that represent value for money.

Your NDIS funding can include three types of support categories: Core, Capital, and Capacity-Building.

How can I be in the best possible position to receive these supports?

When it comes to getting the NDIS plan you want, one of the most important things is preparation. Our 7-step guide to the NDIS is a good place to start, outlining the various stages of your journey and how to get the most out of them. 

One of the first and most significant stages is your planning meeting with the NDIS. To give yourself the best chance of getting the supports you want, go into the meeting with a clear idea of your NDIS goals and aspirations, and take any supporting documentation that highlights why you need certain supports. Our Planning Meeting Checklist can help you prepare for some of the questions you might be asked.

If your first NDIS plan you receive isn’t what you were hoping for, you’re able to request a plan review.

Want further assistance?

It’s important to remember that you’re not alone on your NDIS journey. From expert support like Plan Partners, to online message boards and blogs, there are many ways to get support in navigating the NDIS and get the most out of your NDIS plan.  

Support coordination is a valuable service for many people with ASD, as it enables you to put your plan into action by finding and connecting with service providers, who are the best fit to achieve your goals. Your support coordinator will advice and guide you throughout your NDIS journey. 

Plan management can also assist by helping you to get the most out of your NDIS funds. A plan manager takes care of the financial administration that comes with an NDIS plan, including getting your providers' invoices paid. Plan Partners’ customers also get access to their expert customer service team and very own Dashboard, a handy tool that makes tracking spending and understanding budgets a breeze.