Helping Children with Autism Package
Information for clients and family or carers
The Helping Children with Autism Package is an initiative to assist families with children diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). There are a number of components to this package.
- Medicare rebates are available to assist in the diagnosis and initial allied health treatment of children with autism, where the child is under 13 years of age at the time of diagnosis and under 15 years of age when receiving treatment
- The GP refers the child to a Paediatrician or Psychiatrist who makes the referral to the speech pathologist for assessment, and following diagnosis, for treatment consultations
- Up to 4 Medicare Allied Health Assessment services can be provided by certain allied health professionals including speech pathologists
- Up to 20 Medicare Allied Health Treatment services can be provided by certain allied health professionals including speech pathologists
- Where the child has received a diagnosis of ASD and has been approved as eligible by an Autism Advisor, they may access funding for an Early Intervention program
- The child must be under 6 years of age when eligibility is approved and under 7 years when receiving the service
- Total funding package for Early Intervention is $12,000 ($6,000 per financial year for 2 years)
- Additional services that may be available include PlayConnect Playgroups and specialist Autism Specific Early Learning and Care Centres
- Families, carers and teachers may also benefit from specific autism related education workshops and website resources
Medicare Rebates under the “Helping Children with Autism” package
Medicare rebates for specialist and allied health services are now available to assist in the diagnosis and treatment of children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), or a condition which comes under the term Pervasive Developmental Disorders [PDD])
Up to four (4) Medicare rebate services in total will be available for eligible allied health professionals, including speech pathologists, to collaborate with the referring practitioner in the diagnosis of a child (aged under 13 years) and/or the development of a child’s PDD treatment and management plan.
A further twenty (20) Medicare rebate services in total will also be available for eligible allied health professionals, including speech pathologists, to provide treatment to a child (aged under 15 years and who was under 13 years at the time of receiving their diagnosis from the specialist and the development of the PDD treatment and management plan).
The 20 services is for a lifetime, and may apply across a speech pathologist, psychologist and occupational therapist, as determined by the treatment and management plan prepared by the referring specialist.
Details of the Autism Medicare services and access to a Fact Sheet can be found here:
Funding for Early Intervention multidisciplinary programs and child and family supports and resources
The Helping Children with Autism package may also provide additional funding to ensure that children aged 0 to 6 years diagnosed with ASD have greater access to a range of early intervention services, including packages of individual assistance. Specifically the program provides:
- up to $12,000 ($6,000 per year for two years) in individual assistance for children, diagnosed with an ASD, and aged six years and under when eligibility is approved, and under 7 years of age when receiving service, to support the provision of structured and intensive early intervention services such as one-on-one intensive activities, behavioural therapies and tailored group and individual programs;
- up to 40 Autism Advisors to assist families and carers of children diagnosed with an ASD by providing specific information and referrals to the most appropriate early intervention services; and
- an additional $2000 for families in rural and remote areas to assist their child in benefits from early intervention. This will provide these families with options for accessing early intervention services, such as accommodation and travel to and from support, as well as training, respite and resources such as books and computers to access online information.
Children with Autism or Autism like symptoms may also have access to PlayConnect Playgroups.
Six Autism Specific Early Learning and Care Centres are being established to provide early learning programs and specific support for children with ASD.
Families and carers may also attend “Early Days” Family Workshops.
A Government funded ASD website has been developed to provide information, online resources and interactive functions to support parents, families, carers and professionals. Click here for the Raising Children Network (RCN) ASD website:
Further information can be obtained from the Government Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs (FaHCSIA) who administers the early intervention component of the “Helping Children with Autism” package – for more information please follow the link below:
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