NDIS rejecting autistic children

Subject: NDIS rejecting autistic children
Date: Thu, 10 Dec 2020 09:17:26 +1100
From: Bob Buckley (SOfASD Chair) <chair@sofasd.org.au>
Reply-To: chair@sofasd.org.au
Organisation: Speaking Out for Autism Spectrum Disorder, Canberra and the Australian Capital TerritoryCT
To: Ms Emma Davidson MLA <davidson@act.gov.au>

Ms Emma Davison MLA

Minister for Disability

ACT Legislative Assembly

Dear Minister

Welcome to your new role. I'm sorry we have to start with the following difficult matter.

Recently, advocacy groups in the autism community have received a number of reports that the NDIS has rejected applications for children diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) by the ACT's Child Development Service (CDS). We are told that NDIS officials reject their applications because the psychologist who did them are not appropriately qualified. We have several questions.

  1. are the psychologists that the ACT CDS employs qualified to provide diagnoses of ASD for the NDIS? If not, why not?
  2. how long are children waiting for the ACT CDS to diagnose their ASD ?
  3. are ASD diagnoses done by ACT CDS done according to the Australian National Autism Diagnosis Guideline?

This matter is urgent. We would appreciate a prompt response. My number is 04XX XXX XXX if you want to discuss these matters.


Bob Buckley

Chair, Speaking Out for Autism Spectrum Disorder (SOfASD)

a voice for people living with Autism Spectrum Disorder in the ACT

Please note SOfASD's policy on unanswered questions.

SOfASD recognises and respects the Ngunnawal people as the traditional custodians of our region, and for their continuing culture and contribution to our community.

-------- Forwarded Message --------

Subject: NDIS rejecting autistic children
Date: Thu, 10 Dec 2020 08:59:24 +1100
From: Bob Buckley (A4 Convenor) <convenor@a4.org.au>
Reply-To: convenor@a4.org.au
Organisation: Autism Aspergers Advocacy Australia
To: The Hon Staurt Robert MP <stuart.robert.mp@aph.gov.au>
CC: Hughes, Hollie (Senator) <senator.hughes@aph.gov.au>, senator.griff@aph.gov.au


Dear Minister

Autism Aspergers Advocacy Australia has received reports of the NDIA rejecting children seeking NDIS supports who were diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) by the ACT Child Development Service (CDS). These NDIS applicants were told their application failed because the NDIS does not accept the qualifications of the staff at the ACT's CDS service.

Autism Aspergers Advocacy Australia has several questions for you.

  1. Are staff at the ACT ACT Child Development Service qualified to diagnose autism spectrum disorder? If not, why does the ACT CDS not employ properly qualified staff?
  2. Which states and territories fund diagnostic services for autistic children whose diagnoses the NDIS rejects?
  3. How many NDIS applications were rejected because a staff at a state-funded diagnostic service are not sufficiently qualified staff? If this relates to more than one state or territory or disability type, then please provide the break down by state and by disability type.
  4. Even if the staff are not qualified to diagnose ASD, are they able to diagnose "developmental delay" as defined in Section 9 of the NDIS Act 2013? Why would an ASD diagnosis from ACT CDS not mean a child aged 0-6 years has Developmental Delay or Global Developmental Delay (described in  the DSM-5) hence meets eligibility criteria for the NDIS?

Please note A4's policy on unanswered questions (see link below). This matter is urgent: we need answers to the above questions within 2 weeks.


Bob Buckley

Convenor, Autism Aspergers Advocacy Australia (A4)

website: https://a4.org.au/

Autism Aspergers Advocacy Australia, known as A4, is the national grassroots organisation advocating for autistic people, their families, carers and associates. A4 is internet based so that Australians anywhere can participate.

Note for politicians and bureaucrats – Autism Aspergers Advocacy Australia's policy on unanswered questions is available at https://a4.org.au/node/1419.

“The first step in solving any problem is recognising there is one.” Jeff Daniels as Will McEvoy in The Newsroom.