The National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) is the organisation that realized the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS). The NDIS is how Australians up to 65 years of age with a serious and life-long disability or medical disorder can avail of services and assistance to improve their everyday functioning and well-being and enables them to share in their community as they choose. One of the basic ideals of the NDIS is that participants (the term used for people receiving NDIS funding) have choice and control to dictate the services and supports they receive, and how they want to charter services.
What kind of therapy can I get under the NDIS?
Once an individual has been able to provide sufficient evidence of their significant medical condition or disability and obtains NDIS funding, there are numerous types of therapy that they may access. While the NDIS also has categories of supports that are not therapeutic in nature, this article will focus on common therapy types available. The amount of NDIS therapy that a person can access depends on their needs and how much funding they receive in the appropriate area of supports.
NDIS occupational therapy seeks out to improve a person’s ability to be more autonomous, so they can perform everyday activities and engage with others as they wish. Occupational therapists work with people with a wide range of disabilities and medical disorders and can help improve functioning in all areas of life.
This can include developing one’s ability to perform activities of daily living and self-care such as bathing, dressing, feeding, improving personal hygiene and feeding; enhance budgeting and money management skills; travel training to use public transport; physical coordination and gross and fine motor skills; and executive functioning skills to bolster attention, memory planning and organization, time management skills. Occupational therapy can also help clients with sensory processing issues better control and manage their response to external stimuli and their environment.
Psychological interventions is a common type of NDIS therapy clients may receive. Psychology aims to augment a person’s capacity to handle the difficult experiences in their lives. This often includes challenging thoughts, behaviours and problems with relationships. Psychologists often work with people with mental health conditions such as anxiety or depression; histories of trauma, grief or loss; fears, phobias or compulsions; problems with deliberate self-harm or suicide; anger or stress management; and issues with relationships.
While psychology intends to provide guidance, support and counselling to clients, its greater purpose is to empower people to be able to better accept and cope with their hardships or difficulties and make decisions about their actions and behaviours.
Speech therapy intends to progress a person’s communication and language skills, and ability to interact with others. Speech therapists often work with clients with communication or speech disorders, intellectual delays or impairments, sufferers of stroke or brain injuries, people with autism, or those with swallowing or feeding difficulties.
Speech therapist teach clients how to form sounds and words properly, strengthen the muscles of the mouth, improve fluency issues, educate them about the appropriate use of language and its many contexts, and social and non-verbal communication skills such as interpreting facial expressions or body language.
In clients who may be sensitive to certain textures or types of foods or other stimuli, speech therapists might carefully use exposure therapy to introduce different textures, colours and temperatures of food to enhance tolerance and sensory regulation.