AUTISM AND BETTER START INITIATIVES
Early Intervention Assistance Funding
The early intervention funding under the Helping Children with Autism (HCWA) and Better Start Initiative packages are aimed at providing increased access to early intervention for children aged zero to six with an ASD or Downs Syndrome, Fragile X, Cerebral Palsy and Hearing or Visual Impairments. The funding supports the delivery of multidisciplinary evidence based early intervention to facilitate improved cognitive, emotional and social development prior to a child starting school.
To be eligible for the early intervention funding package a child must have received a diagnosis, and have been seen by an Autism or Better Start Advisor and deemed eligible to access the program prior to their sixth birthday. The $12,000 in funding under the early intervention component can be used until the child’s seventh birthday to a maximum of $6,000 per financial year.
Funding for these services is accessed via FaHCSIA. Click Here
Medicare rebates can be accessed by children under 15 years with the same medical conditions as above, as long they received a diagnosis prior to 13 years of age.
A referral under this plan can either be for assistance with the diagnosis process (up to 4 sessions), or for treatment after receiving diagnosis (up to 20 sessions). Note that these sessions cannot be renewed annually, and can be used for other allied health services as well as OT (with the total number of services not exceeding 4 and/or 20). The sessions are available for children with Autism or a Pervasive Development Disorder (PDD).
Medicare Autism Rebates
Refer to the Department of Health’s website. Click Here
Who Can Refer
Either an eligible consultant paediatrician or psychiatrist.
Your therapist will report to your doctor after the initial consultation and at the end of each block of treatment.