On 3 October 2017, AADDM President, Jacqueline Small, appeared before the Joint Standing Committee on NDIS- ECEI approach. AADDM had made a submission that identified a range of concerns about service provision under ECEI (see aaddm.com.au/submissions). A full transcript is now available here.
Key messages included:
- There are weaknesses with the key-worker model/ECEI approach. We believe that the almost exclusive emphasis of the ECEI approach that has been implemented on supporting parents is leading to a reduction in much-needed educational and therapy services;
- Challenging behaviour seems not to be well understood or supported, despite it being an important predictor for longer term, poorer outcomes for the child, family and service providers.
- Substantial delays have been experienced in finding approval and access to services due to a range of issues with design and the early transition period.
- Referral to the NDIS ECEI should build on paediatricians’ and other health professionals’ expertise.
- A life-span perspective is important for the child and the family. This involves anticipatory guidance and intervention for those conditions associated with poor long-term outcomes, such as challenging behaviours and limited communication, and enhancement of resilience factors such as connection to community, support for siblings and education of families.
- There are significant gaps emerging, some of the early intervention services are no longer providing the services they were previously providing. Importantly, in New South Wales, all of the disability budget was rolled over to the NDIS, but that budget funded a range of services for which there will no longer be funding under the NDIS. So there will be significant loss of services.