So you have a new NDIS plan. That’s SO AWESOME!! I can imagine you’re feeling confused, overwhelmed and excited all at the same time. That’s completely normal! All our clients have felt the same way at the beginning of their NDIS journey. So please take the time to acknowledge, however you’re feeling, is completely perfect for you!
We’re here to help you move through your confusion and give you some ideas to start implementing your NDIS plan today!
If you already know who’s going to be supporting you, and what they’re going to be doing, start making those initial phone calls now and get the ball rolling. If you’re a little unsure how to get started then here are 4 Easy Steps to Getting Started with Your NDIS Plan.
Step 1: Read your NDIS goals
The NDIS is basically a government coaching program for people with a disability. SO COOL! At your initial planning meeting, you thought about the challenges you (or your child) were facing and identified some goals for the future. These goals will be the framework that govern your decisions and help you direct your energy and NDIS funding.
Read through each of your NDIS goals to ensure they’re relevant and current to you (or your Child’s) situation. Now choose one or two goals that are the MOST important for you to achieve throughout this NDIS plan period. If you focus on more than one or two goals, you’ll become overwhelmed and less likely to achieve anything.
Even if the goals you choose may not be realistically achievable within the 6 or 12 month plan period, it’s important to use them as the basis for all your funding decisions.
We want to support, empower and build your capacity in areas that YOU choose. The NDIS is designed to build your (or your Child’s) independence and quality of life. And, we do this by linking with people that connect and share your goals.
Step 2: Decide WHO would be the most appropriate person to help with each goal
Some goals require professionally qualified support team members and other goals require moderately qualified support team members. Here are a few examples of the types of team members needed for specific NDIS goals.
Example 1: Sally is a 9-year-old girl with level 1 ASD. One of Sally’s main goals is to develop her communication and language skills, so she can better understand her classmates and make friends in the playground.
Here are a few services that could support Sally:
- Professional speech therapist
- Social skills groups run by Occupational Therapists, Psychologist or Specialist Educators
- Support worker / therapy assistant to accompany Sally in the community and/or at home to implement the strategies identified by a therapist
Example 2: Tom is a 35-year-old paraplegic. One of Tom’s main goals is to maintain his independence within his own home and the community.
Here are a few services that could support Tom towards his goal:
- A support worker to assist with cleaning, cooking and general household activities that Tom finds difficult to do himself
- A support worker to assist with gardening
- A support worker to assist with shopping and attending social activities
- A Physiotherapist or exercise physiologist to maintain his physical body
- An Occupational Therapist to assist with new equipment requests, including wheelchairs, ramps or home modifications
Example 3: Joe is a 14-year-old boy with Level 2 ASD. One of Joe’s main goals is to regulate his emotions and manage his behaviours within the school and family environment.
Here are a few services that could support Joe towards his goal:
- Behaviour Management Specialist, including psychologist
- Occupational Therapist – to understand and respond to how his body feels during times of heightened emotions
- An experienced male mentor to accompany Joe
- In the community participating in activities that interest Joe
- In a group environment (including group camps & social skills groups)
- Age appropriate social skills groups that focus on goal setting and building independence
Although these goals are quite specific, there are always a range of services that can support the implementation of your goals. I encourage you to view your goals holistically and in alignment with your other goals, and the needs of your family.
Step 3: Start reaching out and talking to potential support providers
Once you’ve decided what goals are important and the type of support provider you need, it’s now time to look for the right fit ‘support team’ for you and your family.
There are a range of NDIS providers in the marketplace, and our Tweed/Gold Coast region is full of wonderful people who want to help you!
Here are some ideas on how to find your ‘dream support team’:
- Write down exactly who you’re looking for. If you know who you want, it’s so much easier to attract the right person eg (male, loves being physically active, can motivate my son out of his gaming chair and into some exercise, positive to be around, has his own car, interested in fishing and going for bike rides, WWC (working with children check), has own insurance, and really wants to make a difference in my son’s life)
- Talking to friends or people you know, who have had the same challenges and worked through them with some success.
- Check out the NDIS portal. It can be super overwhelming and not really specific, so miss this idea if you’re not into streams of names with no clear definitions
- Jump on Google and search key words that relate to the challenges you’re facing. You’re bound to find a huge range of support providers in your area with comments on how they’ve supported people just like you (or your child).
- And, TCPM can certainly suggest a few options as well, so if you’re still completely stuck, touch base with one of the team, and we’ll happily help you out with a few ideas.
Step 4: Take your time, don’t rush this!
Remember to take your time and use your own intuition. You know what’s best for you (or your child). Always tap into your own feelings and use your best judgement. If it doesn’t work out with a service provider, please don’t panic, there will be others to choose from. Set your intention knowing, the right person will come your way at the right time.
Most of our clients have taken a good three to six months to find the right fit ‘support team’. Be patience with yourself, or you will go back into overwhelm and your decisions will be reactive rather than proactive.
Now I’d love to hear from you. What’s going to be your first step to Getting Started with Your NDIS plan? Leave a comment below and set your intention!
Love Jude x