Linda’s six-year-old son Ashton has developmental delay. After applying for NDIS funding late last year, she was able to secure a plan that started in January 2016. Having already been an SDN client prior to the introduction of the NDIS, the change in service delivery was a seamless process.
“Because we were already with SDN, getting information about the NDIS was extremely easy. Our caseworker, Joanne, gave us everything we needed, from information about seminars and info nights to what we needed to think about before our initial NDIS meeting. She let us know what the process was in advance, how to look at the material we’d be given, and generally helped prep us to go and talk to the planner. It was all pretty painless.
Even though the government had funded our SDN transdisciplinary services up to that point, I had no expectations before our first NDIS meeting. Our main concern was that we’d still have the things in place that we were already doing with SDN. We wanted to make sure we could still access key services, including speech therapy, which we’d been paying for ourselves. Thankfully, our application for NDIS funding was successful, meaning that everything we needed was covered. Just as we’d hoped, we were able to continue the schedule we already had in place with SDN. For us, this was extremely important.
That’s because starting with SDN has been the best thing we’ve done.
It’s been a very positive and beneficial experience to learn the things we can actually do to benefit my son, and to understand the tools we can use to help him every day. Because my son’s very visual with how he learns, he needs to relate a visual to everyday life. Tools that have already been extremely helpful include social stories, which involve using photos to compile storyboards that show the activities we’re going to be doing that day, such as going shopping or to the doctor’s. Now that he’s at kindergarten, we’ve also learned how to use visuals to help him learn new words. That has been massive.
To parents who might be about to go to their first NDIS meeting, I’d say really know what you want in terms of services. Be prepared, so when you go into the planning room you already know about the things that your child needs. Also make sure to ask about things that might benefit your child that they’re not currently doing. Really know the behaviour of your child and be able to describe it clearly. That’ll help the planner to make good suggestions and give you the best advice possible. Then, when you find out what your funding level will be, think about how you can use it in the most effective way possible. Put an emphasis on firstly covering the services that you really need for your child.”
If you’re ready to get started with the NDIS, contact us today on 1300 831 445.
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