The NDIS Is Making My Head Spin!
Say Hooray welcomes both private-paying and NDIS-funded clients and we know that there are significant struggles for both groups. Today, we will provide a few, hopefully helpful, tips for navigating the deep (and sometimes shark-infested waters) of the NDIS. We often chat to parents who are frustrated with the long waits, who are encountering barriers to receiving the funding their child needs and we know how difficult it can be managing all this on top of supporting your child. We want you to know that you are not alone and that we are here to help as much as we can.
Have a read below of some of the ways you can make the NDIS journey a little less rocky:
Be patient: yes this is the first tip as it’s one of the very first things families learn when joining the NDIS. The process for initially being accepted and receiving a plan can be very long, and often, there is little that can be done about it. Accepting the wait and not letting it weigh you down can help you feel far more positive about the whole experience.
Talk to others: one of the best things we can do to make ourselves feel better about something we are struggling with is to connect with others going through the same thing. Simply being able to say “me too!” can bring a great sense of relief and chatting to other families can provide you with tips, information and the realization that you aren’t the only one. There are a wealth of support groups on Facebook that you can be a part of.
Be informed: the NDIS is vast and it would take a lifetime to learn all the ins and outs but being equipped with the knowledge you need in relation to your child can speed things up a great deal. Being ready with decisions you’ve made about the services your child will access, the documents NDIS might need from you, remembering when your review date is, understanding what your child is eligible for can get things moving a lot faster and smoother. The NDIS website is probably your start point and they also have many workshops and information nights for families to help them become more savvy, so get stuck in!
Keep up to date: the NDIS is often changing. The eligibility requirements especially, are an important thing to keep track of as whole populations of children are at times welcomed into the scheme with the addition of a single new dot point. Knowing which changes might affect you can minimize any unpleasant shocks and also ensure that you are getting the most out of your package.
Advocate: you are your child’s voice when it comes to funding. Don’t feel daunted by the long hold you might have to wait through on the phone to NDIS; sometimes taking the time to speak to someone about your needs and concerns can be all it takes to get the outcomes you hope for. Remember there are thousands and thousands of people on the scheme, so you might have to be the one to raise your hand up and wave it for your child. Don’t hesitate to approach your Speech Pathologist as well. We are familiar with the maze of procedures and requirements the NDIS has in place and are happy to provide all that we can to help your process. So if you need a report written or a service booking checked for funding remaining, just ask!
Use the right language: when hearing about the skills and needs of children, the NDIA want to hear HOW these are impacting the child’s everyday life. So you need to use the right language. Words and phrases like “functional skills”, “ability to participate”, “environments of daily life” are go-to lingo for letting the NDIA know where your child is at, how services are benefiting them and why therapy should continue.
The NDIS is a wonderful thing, let’s not forget that. It has opened doors for so many people who for so long, had no way of receiving the help they need. The NDIS is also relatively new, so everybody is still learning and we should keep this in mind when mistakes happen or things don’t always go according to ‘plan’ (yes, pun intended). Don’t give up and don’t hesitate to seek help when you need it.