Helping Children with Autism
The Helping Children with Autism program is an Australian Government initiative that includes support for the parents, caregivers and families of children diagnosed with autism or any other pervasive developmental disorder.
Following diagnosis, families contact an Autism Advisor who provides information about eligibility, available funding and Early Intervention and other support services.
Families may be eligible to receive a funding package that includes:
- Autism advisors
- Funding for Early Intervention Services
- PlayConnect Playgroups
- Early Days family workshops
- An Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) website
Dianella provides Early Intervention services as part of this overall package of services. Our programs are aimed at providing increased access to Early Intervention services for children aged up to six years of age with an ASD.
The funding supports the delivery of multidisciplinary evidence based Early Intervention to facilitate improved cognitive, emotional and social development prior to a child starting school.
Click on the links below for further information:
- Accessing funding
- Fees and Program Schedule information
- Contacting an Autism Advisor in Victoria
Following diagnosis, families contact an Autism Advisor who will provide information including eligibility, available funding and Early Intervention and support services.
The Autism Advisor must sight a written conclusive diagnosis made by or through any one of the following:
- a State / Territory Government or equivalent multidisciplinary assessment service; OR
- a private multidisciplinary team; OR
- a Paediatrician; OR
- a Psychiatrist
A multidisciplinary team must consist of a pscyhologist and a speech therapist but may also include an occupational therapist. An acceptable diagnosis is one of the following:
- Autistic disorder
- Asperger's Disorder/Syndrome
- Rett's Disorder
- Childhood Disintegrative Disorder
- Pervasive Developmental Disorder - Not Otherwise Specified (PDD-NOS)
Please note that having 'similar characteristics' to autism is not a conclusive diagnosis. An acceptable form of diagnosis should include either:
- letter-head paper, which includes the signature of the diagnosing person; OR
- as an email with 'approved for transmission' in the email by the appropriate diagnosing person
The eligiblity criteria for children to access the Early Intervention funding is:
- eligible children are those aged zero to six years who have been diagnosed in Australia with an ASD;
- a child must have been seen by an Autism Advisor and deemed eligible to access the service before their sixth birthday; AND
- funding can be accessed until the child's seventh birthday
For residential eligibility, both the carer and the child being cared for must be: :
- an Australian resident - this means they are living in Australia on a permanent basis and they are either:
- an Australian citizen; OR
- the holder of a permanent resident visa; OR
- the holder of a Special Category Visa: someone who arrived on a New Zealand passport who is not affected by the changes to residence requirements, and has lived in Australia for long enough to satisfy qualifying residence periods or the newly arrived resident's waiting period (whichever applies to the payment being claimed)
Fees and Program Schedule information
Please select the following link to access our Fees and Program Schedule information HCWA and Better Start Fee and Program Schedule
How do I contact an Autism Advisor?
In Victoria, contact AMAZE (Autism Victoria Inc) http://www.amaze.org.au or telephone 1300 424 499 or 9657 1608