So what is this NDIS that everyone is speaking about?
NDIS stands for the National Disability Insurance Scheme and this is making it’s way throughout Queensland and Australia as the funding scheme that will support many participants with Disabilities across many life functions, where communication will be one of these. The NDIS will be one of the most significant reform to be every seen in Australia’s history and I am very excited to see that it is having a direct impact on our children and adults with communication impairment, who have been unable to gain support for many years in the past. However, WHO gains support and HOW MUCH support will depend on how much you are prepared to learn about what the NDIS is.
Many families are gearing up for change based on the landscape of Health Care for Disability transforming in the next years. Many families are prepared-bags packed – waiting already with seats booked on their therapy ARKS while there are many families who have not gained access to therapy support in the past and may not even be aware that they can gain support very soon. We all hope to bath in the expectations of the promise land when we become the recipients of the funding … but will there be underwater snags, currents and circling sharks to make this journey not quite the one we set out and planned.
There are many choices for you now days in the community in regards to Speech Pathology services and Speech Pathology support products and resources, but knowing which ones will be most benefical for your child will be your greatest challenge.
It is not a one-size-fits-all game when it comes to disabilities and impairments.
We hope our Speech Therapy DIY program will help to start that discovery process and then narrow down what it is you are needing for your child so that you can source the help and assistance by services and also products and equipment so as not to waste too much of your…
Well Earned Money
And you and your
If you would like to have more information about support to understand this funding support system and other ways to help manage your child’s communication impairment, please connect with our Case Management From Home Support program and enter your details in the support list on the right side of the page. This way we can connect with you and stream loads of information to get you started. Additionally, there is generic information about the process for eligibility and applying as a participant to gain support and to register with the N.D.I.S. There are also workshops in your local area you can attend. Our Case Management From Home support program is different in its support service. It is targeting families to gain skills to undertake the whole case management process where undertaking your plan with your planner is just the start, but a crucial part to have confidence that you are getting it right. Being well prepared and informed is a good place to start.
We are so pleased 😊 to let you know we started this learning and training journey earlier, and have now become prepared for what these massive changes will bring. We look forward to your family coming along with us on the journey. By being part of the CMFH (case Management From Home) List and the Speech Therapy DIY list means that we can support you from a distance or if you are in our local family, within our actually Therapy Centre ARK. The lists are FREE but they do then help you to link to access other services and products that you may be able to combine with your therapy goals. .
Building the ARK
I set out on this dream quest starting back in 2000. I have labored on now through this 17 year pregnancy towards birth of this baby with the brilliant support of past and also now my current team joining me 4-5 years ago when we built the Once Upon A Time Therapy Centre (link: https://www.optimal-communications.com/about-us-2/take-a-clinic-tour/ ) in Southport Queensland, Australia.
Waiting lists have always been a barrier to Speech Pathology Services
As Speech Pathologists in both government and private sectors, our professional community has become accustomed to the frustrations of long waiting lists and have felt somewhat powerless to have an impact on this. We, and many others listened and have tried to support a solution for you, the families of children with communication, learning and developmental challenges. We do know that challenges like this that involve professional Speech Pathology numbers and human resources are not fixed overnight, but differences can be made from a community pulling up their sleeves and working together to carry the load.
Two decades passed of lobbying and requesting asssitance, and then finally we were listened to and now we are thinking not so quietly to ourselves…
Be careful what you wish for!
The Government listened… and fundng for Speech Pathology came!
The Government decided to come to the party and developed a plan to roll the money for funding forward for many children with many communication disabilities. 😊
However, rather than a bucket load, they have sent a tsunami ready to hit the Australian Coast to change the face of Allied Health and disability support forever.
Our team, at Optimal Communications, saw the massive crest of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (N.D.I.S.) wave of major changes occuring in the face of funding being made available to help families to access Speech Pathology support for a range of communication conditions in Australia. We had already gone through the past 6 years of supporting children through the Betterstart and Helping Children with Autism Funding Support Packages for children with communication and early intervention support programs.
Frankly, these were small fry in comparison with what is on it’s way.
We look forward to the arrival of the N.D.I.S. on the Gold Coast, in Queensland in mid-2018, but have taken an active interest in other trial sites in Australia that have already rolled out for families who have been accepted as participants for the program.
So now one-by-one families will be boarding the funding support model
However, beware – on the other end – there may be a catch!
Speech Therapy DIY and the Phonic All Star Speech and Literacy Correction Program are the birth child projects that have been dreamed up when I saw the desperate need for families and children to access Speech Pathology support in the community. There were barriers to achieving this due to restriction on Speech Pathologists in the community and also restrictions to government state and federal budget allocated to solving and supporting communication, developmental and learning problems over what has been the last decades of which I have seen 25 years of this in clinical practice. From the perspective of a Speech Pathologist, I could see, we, as a community were struggling with a human resource issues to obtain access to the qualified and specialised allied health professionals as Speech Pathologists were thin on the ground in both the private and public sectors. One of the reasons for this amounted to low numbers in tertiary University qualifications in Australia providing the training for these Speech Pathology individuals to then enter the community workforce. Over the past 10 years we have seen significant increase in graduate numbers to account for this, however, with the predictions based on what actual numbers of Speech Pathologists will be required to account for the increase in funding becoming available with the NDIS, we actually may be heading right back into the problem of the past-but on a grander scale— access to Speech Pathologists.
Families in trial sites for NDIS are already feeling their patience tested in long waiting lists for Speech Pathology services. Families will need to be planned ahead and ready – so they enter the new funding model as smoothly-and hassle free as they can.
As Speech Pathologist’s need to offer time in therapy to undertake the specific correction tasks and support activities, then the ability to expand on time to account for a greater number of our community accessing support now and in the future, was looking like the biggest problem we would be facing in our future years together. Some Speech Pathologists were already extended to a maximum in many government position as well as private practices. This future problem was looking like a challenge that could not be solved easily. So it has been a common story that Speech Pathology diaries and schedules have been filling up given that many children need repetitive and regular treatment in a layer fashion for often an extended period of months to years to enable adequate support towards possibilities of correction of many communication and learning conditions depending on the intensity and length of intervention periods. Furthermore, having access to Speech Pathologists who hold the expertise in the various areas of communication and learning that are specific to your child’s challenges, may also be a problem under high demand.
What we have seen is many families booking their arc births early with their clinician to lock in their position using their independent family funding. This way families are able to access a qualified Speech Pathologist who are familiar with their child and their families needs before the impact of the NDIS funding wave starts. This way families can start to prepare their plans requiring time consuming professional help such as assessments, preparation of complex reports in preparation for their reviews with their NDIS funding planners. The process is easier for families who already have a history of assessments and therapy whereby the Speech Pathology clinicians has already established a comprehensive understanding of their often complex needs.
The process forward in the next few years may be a bit choppy as Allied Health business’ and families gear for the changes that are on their way. We do expect to see moments where frustration may be tested and patience necessary as we all adapt to how this new system of support in our community may help us – or in some instances, may not. However, throughout this period, we do recommend that families don’t throw their small boats in the ocean and paddle it alone as this may result in unnecessary wasted time and disappointment in your family missing out to benefits that they may be eligible for. The NDIS is a somewhat complex system and will require integration and advice from your Speech pathologist to establish the best plan for your child’s greatest opportunity to reach their Optimal Communication Potential.
What we do know is this NDIS plane is being being built in flight?
This does not mean it is not a structured and established system, what it means is that it is adapting with the need to change. We don’t need a system that looks like DOS a few years in the future when we needed it to adapt to be Windows 10. To learn about how this is adapting and where the NDIS is up to, join us in Case Management From Home on our FREE support list to get you started.
How this is eventually rolled out into our community over the next years will be like this plane adapting to luggage weight, wind speeds and storms along the way. We are part of deciding what the face of this will look like which is really awesome…if we intend to be involved in that way. We want this process to keep changing so as a community, we can work together to foster the best disability support funded model we can in Australia. We are the lucky country and we could make it even luckier for children and families with communication, learning and developmental disabilities. So those of us who are flexible, adaptive and ingenious will probably fare well for the flight. While those of us that are rigid, immovable and pine for the therapy models of the past… may be left as dinosaurs to become extinct.
If you increase your knowledge and skill – you increase your choices?
Families that are prepared to learn and develop independent skills to self-manage from home will do very well to construct NDIS plans with their planner that serve their family and child to what they really need. Case Management From Home helps you to learn how to undertake that bridging of the anxiety and fear gap to be self-managed and confident as an advocate for your child. What we do know is that families have a greater role and responsibility in managing and applying for the funding, so now is the time to start reaching out for help to understand what skills you need to be learning to gear up for rowing your boat along side those arks to ride their wake.
Learning what are the most important ingredients in your NDIS plan before seeing your planner are the most important steps to getting prepared for this system if you are new comer. You do need to be prepared, and your therapy team can help you get started because setting your GOALS is about identifying how that can be achieved in the realistic picture of your child’s impairment and what can be functionally achieved. We plan to help you streamline through copious amounts of legislature and not so necessary reading, when you may be needing only one specific section for your child’s support needs. The NDIS system is complex, and the way that you interact with it and the NDIA, the National Disability Agency, will depend on your identified needs. gaining information can help you to determine what that is. The agency has support team in place to help you at any time, however, it will be your support team who will understand whether those services and supports are suitable for your child and their specific condition and needs, in conjunction with the NDIA.
In Speech Therapy DIY, we want to help families learn and grow with this new system in a way that aims to minimise stress and torture!
There is no reason to put yourself through growth pains and report fatigue in reinventing the wheel so you can access therapy supports that previously you could just make a call- book in and receive.(after waiting for a year!) Skills and tools can lighten that load – and steer you on course to your best result rather than learning the hard way from a plan that was rejected because you were not informed.
We are here to also help you get started in helping the stimulation of your child’s communication development and early intervention needs. For those who want to go further with us on this journey, you can become more skilled in understanding your child’s specific problem and how to take steps to encourage correction. By being self-managed, you get to choose WHO you see, WHERE you see them, and WHAT you do. This flexibility for families is fantastic when they have already secured a great relationship with a therapist or want to choose a team across many community services and therapy businesses. This way we get to match the NEED with the PERSON who can help the most.
Keep a watch out for our next BLOGS, however by joining our subscription and ordering your FREE Phonic All Star Posters from us, we can place you on our back-end support list and get you started in helping your child DIY style from home. Don’t forget to flip across to the Case Management From Home website and enter your details in the FREE information and help list, so that you don’t miss out on being informed as these changes in funding opportunities move in. We won’t spam you, but we will invest time in educating you. For those families that want to go further to developing skills, rather than just learning about the NDIS system and other funding support available, we also have solutions for you. You as the family ARE the best people to case manage your children. We understand that some families will need to gain help from the NDIA or another third party Company based on challenges extending from skills, time, resources and contact with your child, however, many families may not yet know their full capability that can be reached.
In the long run, it helps us as your therapy team. I speak on behalf of many therapy teams across Australia. The more access you can have to your therapy team by enabling funding to attend, the more these professionals can help you and your child to reach your goals.
Home grown and Australian made!