or "NDIS" is supposed to be there to provide essential support for people with disabilities.
It is being rorted. I have known this for a long time. So do many other people. This morning there was a small piece in the paper saying this.
It won't be popular. Some of the people who are currently getting assistance are taking from others who need it the most. Those who don't need assistance but are getting it will not want to give it up.
The article said, and for once I have to agree with the reporting, that some of the children being provided for are within the "normal" range. I suspect many of them are children who have been conveniently diagnosed as "autistic" or "on the autism spectrum". You don't have a badly behaved or poorly disciplined child now. Instead you have a child who is "autistic".
There was a psychologist here that I knew well. I worked with her for a while and we met quite frequently after that. She spent much of her working life with autistic children. They were children who, without exception, behaved bizarrely. They very definitely had serious problems. Their parents very definitely needed support, sometimes a lot of support. I taught one of those children. Her house was like Fort Knox, perhaps worse than that. Everything was locked away - and I mean everything. If anything was left lying around this child would put it on the floor. An open drawer? Everything would be removed and lined up on the floor. She was heavily drugged in an effort to stop seizures as well. Nothing much helped. I still have no idea what was going on in her head as she never spoke a word at school or at home. She was not one of my success stories. Her family could have done with more respite. It wasn't available. That though is the sort of family the NDIS was intended to help.
It was not intended to help a local family who have a child who is, if the school and others are to be believed, simply out of control. He's an only child. He is indulged to a frightening degree. If he isn't given his way he will throw things. He has broken more than one window. He is disruptive in the classroom and doesn't finish his work. He's been tested but there is no evidence of a learning disorder and he is a bully rather than being bullied. No, not a nice child but it may have something to do with poor parenting skills. He has been diagnosed as "autistic" and his parents are getting funding from the NDIS - so that someone else can take him to football training. In the same class at school is a child with a progressive medical condition. At the moment he is on his feet - just - but his family was told to buy him a walker to keep on his feet a bit longer. That came out of limited family finances - only the father works so that the mother is available to care for the boy and give some classroom assistance when needed.
If NDIS money is to be used to support both these families then I would be inclined to say that money should be spent on providing parental skills counselling for the first and, at very least, a walker for the second family. They will need more assistance in the future as the child's condition progresses.
They are not the only examples I know of which concern me. What worries me even more is the potential for the whole scheme to fail simply because it becomes too expensive. There are thousands upon thousands of people who genuinely need a little bit of extra help and thousands who are giving it. There are people who provide each other with support who could apply for help but haven't even considered it. Far too many people have been told they are "not eligible" when they desperately need help.
And there are others who have simply boarded the "disability" bandwagon in order to access a little extra money rather than admit their child is poorly disciplined or not quite as bright or willing to make an effort. I wonder what happened to, "You can do it", "Do it again" and "You can do better than that". What happened to, "I think you can do it if you try it this way" and "Try this instead"?
Aren't those things more help than the "something for nothing" mentality of some who are accessing help they don't really need while far too many others are missing out?