NDIS: Rohan’s Story
NDIS Participant Rohan talks about his experience with Asperger’s, and the power of goals and dreams – at any age.
My name is Rohan and I am 10 years old.
I have Asperger’s, which is a type of autism.
Having autism has affected my life in lots of ways, both positive and negative.
Before I started doing home-school I always had bullies.
In primary school they made me feel like I was just a backdrop in a movie and they were the stars.
I have come to realise since then that all of my bullies were wrong.
Their actions now can just be brushed off like fine dust.
I know Asperger’s makes me unique and special in ways that will leave an important mark on the world.
I have many dreams and I am so excited because the help I get will propel me towards those dreams so that I can make them real.
I would like to feel strong and healthy in my body, but my biggest heart’s desire is for people to be able to read and enjoy my stories.
I want my name to be beside J.K Rowling, Steve King, Roald Dahl, Dr. Seuss and all of the greats.
Autism in Australia
Autism Spectrum Australia describes autism as: “lifelong developmental disabilities characterised by marked difficulties in social interaction, impaired communication, restricted and repetitive interests and behaviours and sensory sensitivities”.
The umbrella term ‘autism spectrum disorder’ (ASD) includes several different disorders, including: classic autism, Asperger’s syndrome and pervasive developmental disorder.
164,000 Australians had autism in 2015. Males were 4 times as likely as females to have autism.
Under the current eligibility rules, autism levels two and three are classified as “List A”, alongside cerebral palsy, amputations and brain injuries. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, which is used by the NDIS to conduct assessments, divides autism into three tiers: level one being the lowest, level two requiring substantial support and level three needing very substantial support.
Not all people with autism access formal support services, and some may receive assistance through mainstream health and welfare services. Disability advocates have expressed their concerns about the review and potential redistribution of the NDIS saying it may restrict access for autistic people in Australia.
A formal diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder makes a child eligible for the NDIS. While the NDIS is supporting many Australians, recent news has revealed that autistic children may have their support removed.
It has been reported that 22,000 autistic children aged seven to 14 are being “functionally assessed”. Those who fail to meet the criteria are having their support partially or entirely removed.
In the seven-to-14 age group there are about 30,000 participants in the scheme, more than 70 per cent of whom have autism.
My Choice Matters
My Choice Matters website is managed by the NSW Consumer Development Fund and aims to encourage self-determination amongst NDIS clients. My Choice Matters runs workshops and has an extensive website with a great deal of information on making the NDIS work well for you.
The My Choice Matters Facebook page has all sorts of personal stories.
My Learning Matters
My Learning Matters is an online tool built by My Choice Matters to help you people to get the most out of the NDIS. There are many learning resources available.
Factsheets about the NDIS: