It’s estimated that 1 out of every 70 Australians have ASD (autism spectrum disorder). Unsurprisingly, this makes it the NDIS' most common primary disability category. So if you have a child with autism, how can you check if they're eligible for NDIS funding? And are there any specific requirements you need to fulfil to apply for support?

If you are currently waiting for, or have recently been approved for NDIS funding, Like Family can provide the assistance you need. We help autistic people of all ages to connect with compassionate, NDIS-verified support workers. Our Carers can help your loved ones build relationships, learn new skills and get out and about in the community.

So if you're still unsure about how the NDIS works, here’s all you need to know about NDIS funding for autism.

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A brief overview of autism spectrum disorder

Autism spectrum disorder, often referred to as just autism, is a developmental disorder that affects the ways that an individual communicates, thinks, and interacts with others. It's called a "spectrum" disorder as it contains a wide range of symptoms and abilities, varying from person to person.

Autistic people may find it difficult to understand social cues, such as body language and facial expressions, and may struggle to initiate or maintain conversations.

Autism can also be associated with sensory sensitivities. For example, certain sounds, textures, or lights can be overwhelming or distressing. Changes in routines or environments can also be challenging for autistic people, as they may prefer consistency and predictability over new or altered routines.

The role of the NDIS in autism support

Two women looking at an iPad

Autism is the most common primary disability for about 54% of NDIS participants under the age of 18. So you're not alone!

Participants can use their NDIS funding for a variety of support services depending on their goals, including occupational therapy, speech therapy, personal care and social and community support.

However, it’s important to note that not all autistic children are eligible for NDIS funding. It depends on factors like your ASD level of diagnosis. Here’s a quick overview of each of the levels.

Level 1

Individuals with a Level 1 ASD diagnosis require some support to function in social, academic, or occupational settings. They may experience challenges in social interactions and communication, but are able to participate in daily activities with assistance. They may also have difficulty initiating social interactions, interpreting nonverbal cues, or adapting to changes in routines.

Level 2

Individuals with a Level 2 ASD diagnosis often require substantial support to interact, communicate, and function effectively. They often have more pronounced difficulties in social interactions and may display repetitive behaviours or restricted interests. It’s not uncommon for them to require support to cope with changes in routines and may struggle with abstract or complex tasks.

Level 3

This level includes individuals who require very substantial support in most areas of functioning. They may have significant challenges in social communication, social interactions, and behaviour. They may have highly restricted interests, display repetitive behaviours, and require extensive support to manage daily activities and navigate changes.

How do these levels affect eligibility for NDIS funding?

If your child is diagnosed with Level 1 ASD, an additional assessment of their functional capacity is necessary to determine eligibility for NDIS funding. Individuals classified as Level 2 or Level 3 are highly likely to meet the eligibility requirements for NDIS funding for autism.

What kind of NDIS support can my child access?

A teacher helping an autistic man with craft

There are several NDIS funding supports commonly available for autistic children, and you may qualify for some of these:

  • Behavioural therapy: This type of therapy helps autistic people manage challenging behaviours and develop adaptive skills.
  • Nutritional therapy: This support focuses on optimising nutrition and addressing specific dietary needs or challenges related to autism.
  • Physiotherapy: This support focuses on developing and improving motor skills, coordination and physical abilities.
  • Speech therapy: This support aims to enhance communication skills, including speech, language and social communication.
  • Support worker: An NDIS support worker can provide assistance and support in various aspects of daily life, such as household tasks, transportation and community participation.
  • Sensory aids: These can include sensory toys, tools, or technology designed to support sensory needs and promote engagement and development.

It's important to note that the availability and extent of these supports will depend on your individual circumstances, needs, and the specific funding allocated to you through the NDIS where reasonable and necessary. Eligibility for each support will be assessed based on your goals, functional capacity, and the recommendations of healthcare professionals.

To check if you're eligible, contact the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) or a Local Area Coordinator who can guide you through the NDIS funding process.

How much NDIS funding can my autistic child get?

The average amount of funding autistic participants receive currently stands at $16,700 for those aged under 7 years old. For those aged 7 years or older, the current annualised average NDIS funding for autism is $32,800.

Naturally, the actual amount received will largely depend on your child and their individual needs and goals.

What doesn’t NDIS funding cover for autism?

While NDIS funding covers a variety of supports directly related to autism, the primary focus of NDIS funding is to provide support and assistance specifically tailored to an individual's disability-related requirements. These include daily living costs not associated with the individual's support requirements and any supports from other community services or government departments.

Access quality autism support with Like Family

At Like Family, we're dedicated to providing exceptional support for people with autism and other disabilities. We understand the unique needs of being autistic and strive to match your child with an autism support worker who can help them to build social skills and engage with their local community.

Our flat hourly rates are 16% below the NDIS price guide, so you can get more autism support out of your NDIS funding. Find out how you can use your funding with Like Family.

If you're interested in joining Like Family, sign up below or get in touch with our team today at