QAI Submission Regarding Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder

QAI made a submission in November 2019 to the Senate Standing Committees on Community Affairs regarding the Effective Approaches to Prevention, Diagnosis and Support for Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD).

QAI’s Recommendations:

  • It is critical that NDIS applicants have advice and support from people who are familiar with the conditions and its effects, nurse educators and the like, who can explain the kinds of therapies and supports that are most appropriate and useful.
  • The NDIA has authority to ensure health authorities train and appoint more nurse educators in the field to be available for Participants with FASD.
  • NDIA Planners are not likely to be familiar with FASD or its impacts, so it is important that the NDIA issues information and advice to Planners that the person with FASD and or their supporters have the expertise and knowledge about their support needs and the Planning meeting outcomes should reflect this. At the very least, it is important for people to have mentor support during the meeting.
  • It is important to focus on the person’s support needs, even though the client’s support needs may not arise directly out of their FASD.
  • NDIA Planners and LAC’s should utilise the Complex Needs Pathways for Applicants with FASD who require financial support to obtain assessments and reports.
  • If an applicant needs supports to develop self-regulation or to decrease behaviours which others find challenging, evidence such as reports from speech pathologists, therapists etc should articulate the triggers or risks.
  • It is essential that people are accompanied by someone who not only understands the support needs of people with FASD, but also understands the NDIS planning process.
  • Mentors may be the best support: a person who can read moods, and be a ‘calendar’ to ensure that the person sticks to plans and appointments, and who drives attendance.
  • LAC’s and/or Planners should link Participants who have FASD to nurse educators and other professionals to assist them.
  • The NDIA should abolish Typical Support Plans as incongruent to the diversity of support needs.
  • It is essential that if not NDIS–eligible, people with FASD are able to secure block-funded non-clinical supports from mainstream agencies that are funded to provide them.

You can read the full submission here.