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10 Tips for your child’s first NDIS planning meeting

Here are 10 tips from other families of children with disability to help you prepare for your child’s first NDIS planning meeting:

1. Stay calm and be kind to yourself

  • Try to approach the planning process with a positive ‘can-do’ attitude and take care of YOU!
  • Recognise your own strengths and challenges.
  • Be realistic about what you can do, and what you may need help with.
  • Try not to let the planning process overwhelm you.

2. Don’t do this alone

  • Ask others who know your child to help you.
  • Before the meeting, ask someone to look over the information and evidence you have put together to make sure you’ve covered everything.
  • Take someone who knows you and your child to the meeting with you.

3. Use the NDIS guides and resources

  • There is lots of information to help you to prepare for your child’s NDIS planning meeting.
  • Use the NDIS participant booklets.

4. Learn and know the language

  • The NDIS uses words such as: Reasonable and Necessary, Functional Capacity, Core Support, Capacity Building, Local Area Coordinator (LAC), NDIA Delegate, and others. It’s important to know and understand this new language.
  • See the NDIS glossary for a full list of NDIS words and what they mean.

5. Prepare, prepare, prepare

  • You will need to gather evidence of your child’s disability. These are letters and reports from your child’s GP, paediatrician, specialist or therapist.
  • You will also need to write a Participant Statement, Carer Statement, and have around three short-term and two long-term goals for your child.

6. Postpone the meeting if you’re not ready

  • When the NDIS contacts you to schedule a date for your NDIS planning meeting, be prepared. If you don’t feel prepared, ask for a later date when you think you will be ready.

7. Understand the NDIS areas of support

  • The NDIS provides funding for supports in three key areas:
  1. Core Supports: this includes continence aids and support workers to assist with self-care
  2. Capacity Building Supports: this includes therapy aimed at building your child’s capacity to participate in the community, as well as positive behaviour support strategies
  3. Capital Supports: this includes Assistive Technology such as communication devices, wheelchairs and home modifications
  • For a list of what fits under each of these areas of support, see the NDIS plan budget and rules.

8. Have a list of what you want to ask for

  • Under each of the three NDIS support areas, list what services and supports you currently receive, what you want to continue, and what else you need.
  • Think about how many hours of support you need in a week and adjust these for different times of the year. For example, you may need more support during the school holidays.
  • You can also write down any challenges you face each day that make yours or your child’s life difficult. The NDIS wants to hear your ideas to make life better for your child, and to help you and your family to continue in your caring role.

9. Think about how you want the Plan to be managed

  • There are three different ways to manage your child’s Plan: Self-managed, Plan-managed and NDIA-managed.
  • To decide which one you prefer, learn about ways to manage your funding.
  • You can also ask for a Support Coordinator to help you implement your child’s Plan. If you think you need Support Coordination, it can be helpful to get a letter from a professional explaining why you need it.

10. Get the contact details of who will be at the planning meeting

  • The person at the planning meeting might be an NDIS Planner or a Local Area Coordinator (LAC). They both do a similar role – they meet with you to find out about your child’s needs and they write a Plan.
  • Email a copy of all the information you have put together to the Planner before the meeting and bring hard copies to the meeting. Keep copies of all information you give to the NDIS.

NDIS participant booklets
NDIS glossary
NDIS plan budget and rules
Ways to manage your funding