Funding to Assist Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders: Medicare
Medicare has introduced new items for diagnosis and early intervention treatment for children with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). These include Autism and other less prevalent pervasive developmental disorders such as Rett’s disorder, Asperger’s Syndrome and Childhood Disintegrative Disorder.
Medicare items cover:
a) Paediatricians and child Psychiatrists to diagnose and develop a treatment plan for children aged up to 12 years on referral from a GP;
b) Psychologists and Speech Pathologists to assist with the assessment where necessary and,
c) Allied health providers such as Psychologists, Speech Pathologists and Occupational Therapists to provide early intervention treatment following diagnosis (up to 20 services per child).
These items are available for children aged up to 12 years with ASD and their families. Further information is available from the Helping children with autism Inquiry Line on 1800 289 177 and TTY 1800 260 402 and from www.health.gov.au/autism.
Funding to Assist Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders: Helping Chilren with Autism Package for children under 7 years (as of 18-10-2009).
The Australian Government has introduced a funding package titled ‘Helping Children with Autism Package’ to provide children with ASDs and their families, with the necessary funding and information to implement specified early intervention services and programs. Eligible children have access to a funding package of up to $12,000 per child (maximum $6,000 per financial year).
Families applying for the $12,000 must provide eligibility documentation and complete an application form. Once eligibility has been confirmed and the documents have been processed, a letter is provided to the family as proof of funding eligibility. This letter is given to the Authorised Panel Provider of early intervention services, allowing them to automatically invoice the government agency directly for payment of fees.
To learn more about the package and to check the eligibility criteria, please visit the Australian Government website: www.fahcsia.gov.au/sa/disability/progserv/people/HelpingChildrenWithAutism/Pages/default.aspx
The Listen And Learn Centre is a FaHCSIA panel member that provides FaHCSIA services to FaHCSIA approved clients.
Funding to assist school children with disabilities and learning needs.
Some children with disabilities are eligible for additional assistance at school from the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development (DEECD) under the Program for Students with Disabilities.
Victorian Government school students with a disability and additional learning needs are eligible for the Program for Students with Disabilities if they meet the eligibility criteria for one of seven categories:
- Physical Disability
- Visual Impairment
- Severe behaviour disorder
- Hearing impairment
- Intellectual disability
- Autism Spectrum Disorder
- Severe Language Disorder with Critical Educational Needs
A copy of the Program for Students with Disabilities Handbook can be found at the DEECD (Department of Education and Early Childhood Development) website:
The application process for the Program for Students with Disabilities can be a complicated one. Often families are unaware of the significance of particular elements of applications and this can affect the level of support they receive. The Listen And Learn Centre can guide you through this process with our consultant who specialises in assisting with writing applications. The Listen And Learn Centre can assist by establishing which assessments and reports are required, conducting assessments, liaising with school psychologists and administrators and helping to create a comprehensive application for funding.
Please contact the Centre with any further enquiries.