Navigating the maze of Fahcsia funding can be overwhelming for parents who have just received a diagnosis of autism.
Under the helping children with autism package, families are entitled to up to A$12000 to be used before your child with autism turns 7.
You cannot use more than A$6000 in one financial year, but there is no minimum you have to use per year. So if your child is 3 when they get a diagnosis of autism, you can use A$3000 per year for 4 years if you choose.
The first step is to contact your local organisation that assesses your eligibility to access the funding.
In Victoria this organisation is Amaze.
Once your eligibility has been confirmed you will be provided with a confirmation letter.
The next step is to find the therapy services that you require. Only those therapists on the provider panel can be paid using your funding. There are a number of ways that you can do this.
The Fahcsia website lists all those services on the provider panel. The problem with this website is that there are a number of consortiums which have a range of different therapists under them. Only the consortium lead agency is listed in the initial directory and you will have to open each consortium to find all the therapists listed under it.
I know for example that JumpStart is yet to be found by a single parent through this website. But the good news is that if you are reading this you have found us some other way!
For Occupational Therapists and speech pathologists you can look up their professional bodies and they will have a directory of private therapists.
OT Australia is a good one for OTs as it allows you to search for therapists on the provider panel.
Other parents will also have a wealth of knowledge and will be able to recommend therapists.
Good luck with your search and don't forget to put your name on the JumpStart waiting list...
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