Georgia’s story of NDIS support

Three-year-old Georgia has significant delays in her communication, physical and social development. She and her family have been getting services from a child and family health nurse and a paediatrician since she was a baby.

Georgia can’t walk so she gets around by rolling across the floor at home. She can’t speak, so she can’t tell her parents when she’s hungry or wants to play with her toys.

Georgia’s family find it hard to know what she wants. They don’t know what to do to help her development.

It’s frustrating for Georgia too, who often screams for long periods during the day and night. She spends most of her time at home with her mother, who is her primary carer. It’s too hard for Georgia’s mother to manage family outings because Georgia needs such a high level of care.

Georgia’s paediatrician suggests the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) might be able to help Georgia and her parents. The GP puts them in touch with their local NDIS early childhood partner.

Georgia’s parents meet with the NDIS early childhood partner. They talk about the family’s goals for Georgia, which are:

  • helping Georgia communicate her needs
  • decreasing Georgia’s screaming episodes
  • developing a sleeping routine
  • developing Georgia’s ability to do things like hold a spoon by herself
  • improving Georgia’s ability to get around.

They also talk about the support that Georgia and her family need to achieve these goals.

The NDIS early childhood partner tells Georgia’s parents that Georgia needs longer-term, intensive support to reach these goals. This support includes:

  • speech pathology to develop her verbal communication
  • physiotherapy to build her strength and ability to sit up and move
  • occupational therapy to develop her hand skills and ability to do things like play with toys.

The NDIS early childhood partner also suggests that informal community support might help Georgia’s family. The NDIS early childhood partner puts the family in touch with a local peer support group for families with children with development delay, and also finds them a supported educational playgroup.

Because Georgia needs longer-term, intensive support, the NDIS early childhood partner helps Georgia’s family to request access to the NDIS. Georgia becomes an NDIS participant, and Georgia’s family and the NDIS early childhood partner develop an individualised NDIS plan.

Georgia’s NDIS plan includes:

  • regular sessions with a team of early childhood professionals to help Georgia’s family put the strategies into practice at home
  • funding for equipment like special seating, a standing frame and a wheelchair to make it easier for Georgia to participate in everyday activities like going to the park with her family or going to playgroup.

The NDIS early childhood partner submits the plan to the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) for approval, and the NDIA approves it.

Now that Georgia is an NDIS participant, she and her family will meet with the NDIS early childhood partner every 12 months or so to review the plan and ensure the support they’re getting is still meeting their needs and helping Georgia achieve her goals.

Under the NDIS, Georgia and her family got a long-term, family-centred, coordinated approach to supporting Georgia’s development. The NDIS early childhood partner connected Georgia’s family with local services and support. The NDIS early childhood partner also quickly identified that Georgia needed longer-term, intensive support and developed an individualised plan to make this happen.