New to the world of NDIS? Here is a parent’s perspective

Kerrie Turner is mother of three including Joshua, who has a global developmental delay and has been in the NDIS since 2016.  Kerrie shares her trailblazing experience and how a focus on goal setting and new mindset, were the keys to achieving outcomes for her son. This also helped her to have a successful NDIS experience.

NDIS at its core focuses on positive outcomes for people with a disability. Vision, planning and goal setting are key to getting the most out of it. Kerrie realised she needed to change her approach. “Originally we were still in the mindset of therapy and how far Joshua was behind,” she says.

Planning and goal setting

Therapies are not goals. Rather than thinking ‘he needs physio!’ Kerrie began to consider what other children of Joshua’s age were doing. This enabled her to identify and prioritise goals, then consider the resources needed to achieve them. Therapy was one of those resources. “It got us into thinking about daily, weekly and monthly routines, and how he participates at preschool, school and playgroups.” She wanted Joshua to be independent, to communicate, build friendships, play with peers at the park and be toilet trained. These goals were used to create a plan for the supports required.

Being in control of the funding gave Kerrie the flexibility to choose support providers that best suited the family’s needs. They can be from different organisations, but she preferred to use just one. “I like the idea that they are together and have the same philosophy.” Her team of professionals is coordinated by a Key Worker who is also Joshua’s speech pathologist. Together, they all help Joshua achieve goals during daily activities, such as going shopping or attending his sisters’ soccer training. Kerrie pointed out, however, that therapies are not the only answer and encouraged brainstorming other ways to accomplish goals. To teach him animal safety on their country property, for example, she suggested buying a toy snake and practising what to do when you see one.

“Think about goals you might reach in 12 months,” Kerrie said. They don’t have to be achieved by then, but progress should be made. Plans can also change along the way as you learn more or find that other supports are required.

Learning new skills

Kerrie encourages parents to take advantage of the free NDIS workshops to guide you through planning and goal setting to get the most from the NDIS. “Think big and think creatively,” she enthused. Becoming a good advocate for your child and family will also be important. Connecting with family-led organisations for networking and support from peers is essential: “You learn the best and the most from each other.”

NDIS participants can choose to handle all the finances and invoicing by themselves (self-manage), let the NDIA manage it, or employ a third-party Plan Manager.

Need to know more?  Plumtree runs free workshops for families that are new to NDIS and those already with a plan.  Visit our Eventbrite page to register for a free NDIS workshop today.

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