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Finding support in all the right places

Nov 05 2019

For Brisbane mother Kirsty Tinsley, the arrival of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) in Brisbane in 2018, means having continuing access to vital therapies for her six-year-old son Harley, who has autism.

Harley was diagnosed at age four, and Kirsty was forced to borrow money to cover expensive diagnostic reports, specialist appointments, and therapies.

Harley transitioned from ‘Helping Children with Autism’ funding to the NDIS in October 2018, and is now accessing a range of key therapies.

Like many boys his age, Harley loves gaming and gets to explore this passion through his therapies.

“He is part of a social skills development program, which works on emotional regulation and building empathy.

“In the program, students create their own game but have to think about how the characters might think or behave,” said Kirsty.

Kirsty says the flexibility of the NDIS has allowed the family to trial a range of different approaches to best support Harley.

“Early intervention supports at key times in his life can help develop the skills to communicate with people, hold conversations and understand people’s behaviours. It is also important to build social skills and we have been very fortunate to have support through the NDIS to do a variety of things we wouldn’t otherwise be able to.”

She says that the arrival of the NDIS has given her confidence that Harley will receive the correct support to allow him to achieve his goals.

“For us as a family, it means that Harley is happy and he is supported. As his mother I feel relief that I can provide him with the support he needs, that we have access to the amazing health professionals that can help him on his journey and to allow him to have an equal footing in society so that he can thrive to become whatever he wants to be. With the NDIS I feel relieved that that support will be made available to him.”

Kirsty recommends that families do their research when preparing to apply for the NDIS.

“We went to lots of workshops, including one with Carers Queensland, all of those workshops really prepared us for thinking about all the information that we could use to support the planning process.

“We also sought advice from our occupational therapist, paediatrician and the teachers at Harley’s school.”

Carers Queensland can support you to find out more about the NDIS, to apply for funding and to help you get started with the NDIS.

If you have a disability but are not eligible for the NDIS, Carers Queensland can also help you identify and link to options for support in your community.

To find out more about how the NDIS and Local Area Coordination program can work for you, visit Carers Queensland NDIS Local Area Coordination Partner in the Community Program for Brisbane Region in Lutwyche at 120 Chalk Street, or contact the office on (07) 3215 9600.

You can also contact Carers Queensland on 1300 999 636, or cq.enquiries@ndis.gov.au