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Accessing the NDIS is changing the lives of Moreton Bay families

Mar 06 2020

Getting out into the community and safety were top priorities for Renee when her teenage son, Joshua, first accessed the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).

Joshua, who was born with Down syndrome, loves the outdoors, and it was important to Renee and her husband that his NDIS plan supported his passion.

“Accessing the NDIS was pretty easy. Getting the proof was simple. We were seeing one therapist who did her report, and the doctor and paediatrician did theirs,” Renee said.

“The hardest part was the carers statement and getting the wording right.”

Renee had help from others who had gone through the process before, reading over it before submitting.

“The NDIS isn’t as scary as it’s made out to be. You don’t need to jump through hoops. As long as you have the main bits of information, it’s very easy, and it’s worth it” Renee said.

Before the NDIS the family paid for all therapies themselves, they could only access one speech therapy session a fortnight.

Now with an NDIS plan Josh is accessing two different kinds of speech therapy, one for eating and the other for talking, a dietitian, physiotherapist and an occupational therapist.

“We could never give Joshua access to the therapies he has now without the NDIS,” Renee said.

”Joshua is nonverbal, coeliac and has sensory issues with his mouth. With the NDIS he’s getting the variety of food he needs with help from the dietitian, and the speech therapist is helping him work through the issues he has with food.”

Renee has seen a big change in her son, he’s now willing to touch food and mash it up, before he wanted nothing to do with it.

“His speech is coming along slowly too. He has dyspraxia as well, so it’s hard for him to get the words out, but he’s improved heaps” Renee said.

One of Josh’s goals is to get out into the community, but he fatigues easily, and outgrew his old stroller. The NDIS has enabled the purchase of a new stroller that suits his needs, as well as a car harness. Both have allowed the family to get out and about.

Josh loves being outside, so his long term goal is to get him a bike. He can’t ride a normal bike because he doesn’t have the strength. So the goal is to get a three-wheeled bike so the family can go out together.

“That’s a few years away because we need to build up his stamina, which is where the physio comes in,” Renee said.

Since accessing the physio, she’s noticed a change.

“They have a rock-climbing wall, and when he started, he wouldn’t climb it. The other week he climbed up the top and waved to me. He was so proud.”

The NDIS is working for Josh.

Carers Queensland, is the NDIS Partner in the Community for the Moreton Bay region. To find out more about how the NDIS and Local Area Coordination program can work for you, contact Carers Queensland on 1300 999 636, or cq.enquiries@ndis.gov.au