Media Release by The Hon Dan Tehan MP

Establishment of Autism Advisory Group

An Autism Advisory Group has been established to provide advice and feedback to the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA).

The establishment of the advisory group reflects the NDIA’s commitment to working with key stakeholders and experts who support people with autism.

The Co-operative Research Centre for Living with Autism (Autism CRC), Amaze, Autistic Self- Advocacy Network – Australia and New Zealand (ASAN), Australian Advisory Board on Autism Spectrum Disorder (AABASD) and the Australian Autism Alliance will be part of the Autism Advisory Group.

The establishment of the advisory group is consistent with the Government’s commitment to a fact-based collaborative approach to issues related to autism and the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) and the NDIA’s unequivocal commitment to delivering quality outcomes for all people with autism, both children and adults.

Among the issues the Advisory Group will be asked to discuss are:

  • The increased prevalence of autism within the Australian population, as reported by the Australian Bureau of Statistics;
  • The work, funded by the NDIA, but undertaken independently by the Autism CRC to develop a set of best-practice diagnostic guidelines. This work has been submitted to the National Health and Medical Research Council for review;
  • The relevance of the new PEDI-CAT (ASD) as a functional assessment tool in the Australian context;
  • The NDIA’s proposal, as part of its Participant Pathway work, for an independent third party to undertake a pilot to assess which functional assessment tools are most appropriate to assist making eligibility assessments for the NDIS. There will be no cost to individual’s seeking access to the Scheme from the proposed pilot;
  • Whether functional assessment tools can assist with defining the necessary supports for participants to have a better life;
  • The best approach to delivering autism services for eligible NDIS participants and children who receive ECEI services, within the context of broader mainstream autism services.

The NDIA is committed to ensuring the NDIS is equitable, outcomes focussed and, in the interests of all participants, financially sustainable.