Category Archives for "Ways to Use NDIS Funding"

Nov 16 2018

Making the most of the NDIS – BRAINSTORM!

Reagan is 16, and autistic. He uses his behaviour to communicate and is just starting to use an Augmentative and Alternative Communication device (AAC). He’s into watching the same bits of videos many times and has probably watched the Stuart Little movie many thousand times.

The NDIS has been a pretty good thing for Reagan and his younger brother Declan, who also has autism. It’s funded some pretty intensive work with his AAC device, and they have a fabulous support worker, Indianna, who’s been with the family for years (she’s even written a picture book based on the boys, called Quirky Quentin).

The motorbike

Over the past year, Reagan has shown more and more interest in Garry’s motorbike, and had started going on the back for short rides with his Dad. It’s been a pretty awesome bonding experience for the pair, as Garry’s interest in watching Stuart Little with his son waned many years ago.

In May, Garry and I sat down to nut out some ideas on how to make the most of Reagan’s NDIS plan. Traditional therapies weren’t helping with hygiene, nor his chewing. We started talking about what were Reagan’s genuine interests. When did they know he was feeling really good? And how could we make the most of that to help him reach his goals?

The motorbike. It was when he was on the back of the motorbike, away from his house and his little brother, with his Dad, on the back of bike on the road, that yanked Reagan’s chain.

We can work with that, I said.

The big idea

The idea ballooned and grew into a month long trip across four states and a sea.

Garry grabbed the idea, built a plan, bought a trailer and some more safety gear and last week they launched ASD and a Kawasaki with Reagan and a bunch of their friends at a local pub. They’ve raised more than enough money to cover the costs of the trip (the rest is being donated to CountMeIn, a not-for-profit aimed at encouraging Universal Design in public spaces).

Meeting with his NDIS Plan Manager as well as his me, his Support Coordinator, we brainstormed further ideas about how Reagan’s NDIS plan could be used to support the trip and Reagan’s goals.

The NDIS

So, how does the NDIS fit in to all this?

  1. Without NDIS, Reagan’s goals would never have been so clearly defined.
  2. NDIS paid for a Support Coordinator, who Garry used to help him think of creative ways to meet Reagan’s goals.
  3. NDIS funds were used to purchase most of an Apple Watch with falls detection and GPS, so if the unthinkable happens and they come a cropper, emergency services will be notified within a few minutes, or if Reagan and Garry get separated at a petrol station, or accommodation, Garry will be able to track Reagan and find him (and Chrissa can track them both from home! Many thanks to Apple for a generous discount)
  4. Funds from the NDIS are paying some family friends, who are coming to meet them half way through the trip, to watch Reagan for a weekend to give Garry and Reagan a short break from each other.
  5. NDIS funds were used for Reagan’s speechie to add a whole bunch of trip related PECS (Picture Exchange Communication Systems) to his AAC device, and to help build some social stories about using new toilets and sleeping in a different place almost every night.
  6. Funds from his little brother’s NDIS plan will be used to support Declan and his Mum, so he is well supported and she can keep working while Garry is away.
  7. NDIS funds from Declan’s plan will be used for him to have a weekend at short term accommodation so Chrissa can come and meet Reagan and Garry along the trip (Chrissa is already missing her big boys so much!) 

Kicking goals

They’re only at day five, and Garry and I have been on the phone tonight. They’re tired – they crash early each night, and Garry forgot his pillow, which sounded like the worst thing that had happened so far!

Reagan is ALREADY KICKING GOALS. Just a few days in, and his hygiene goals are getting smashed. Garry, despite his sore butt and aching bones, was just beaming on the end of the phone.

It’s working Sam”, he said.

As Garry broadcast at the pub last week, just a few nights before their adventure began – “This just wouldn’t have been possible without the NDIS”.

Indeed. Well done Reagan, and his family, and the NDIS.

Sam Paior

Director, Support Coordinator and NDIS Specialist, The Growing Space 

Board Member, CountMeIn Foundation 

Disability Advocate

Solo Mum of two sons with NDIS Plans

Oct 27 2018

Assistive Technology Huge Ideas List

Many NDIS plans are now including around $1000, often in their core funding line. for low cost low risk assistive technology. These funds can be used to purchase lower cost items that don’t pose a safety risk. If you are self managing, or Plan Managed with a good Plan Manager, you could spend more if it is in line with your plan and helps you meet you goals etc.

The Growing Space posted some examples recently, and invited its followers to make suggestions of their own, and here they are!

None of these are recommendations from The Growing Space, and what is appropriate for each person with disability will be different. We also don’t want you to feel limited by this list – these are just *some* ideas!

We have included links to most items where possible, and you should know that if it’s an Amazon link, we might make a few cents if you decide to purchase. ALL income generated through these links will be used to contribute to our travel costs to take our workshops around the country.

Physical Assistance

• Large handled cutlery for someone with low muscle tone. OXO Easy Grip Flatware Set 

• ModiBodi undies for someone unable to manage tampons/pads. www.modibodi.com.au Modi bodi underwear has changed our world. Can not recommend enough.

• Magnetic charging cable for someone with physical disability to connect and charge their phone. Wsken Magnetic Micro USB Cable 
Self tipping kettle
• Amazon Echo Spot as an intercom and voice control for tonnes of stuff
• some form of google home for voice control when at home and stuck or needs help
• Elastic shoelaces for someone with poor fine motor control. Elastic No Tie Shoe Laces for Running and Triathlon – Black
• Carabiners to clip a dog leash to a wheelchair. Boundless Voyage 8pcs Outdoor Aluminum D Ring Keychain Camping Carabiners Locking Hook Clip Hanging Buckle 5 Colors BV1010
Stick vacuum cleaner for someone unable to carry/push a regular vacuum.
• Key turner to help someone open their own doors. Key Turner – White – 1 Key – Key Turner – Living Aids Gripping Aids
• Hose reel that retracts for someone unable to manage it otherwise. Flopro – Flopro + Auto Retract Hose Reel 15m
Electric timer toothbrush for someone to brush teeth and know how long to go for.
• Single use plastic straws
Stainless steel straw set with brush
• To clean your own straws or peg feeding tubes- you can use heavy whipper snipper line– you’ll get longer use of tubing as you can clean it better. Light whipper snipper line isn’t really strong enough to clean with.
Autobrush for teethbrushing  – from another co-ordinator “He found it very odd at first with all the vibrating, but very easy. His mum does need to give his teeth a good clean with an electric brush once a week to prevent plaque build up and it doesn’t clean as well as a toothbrush does but it’s a lot less physical exertion and creates independence for the young man.”
Flexible iPad/tablet/phone holder• New padding for WC arm rests
Pencil grips
• Non slip mat for eating. https://ezpzfun.com.au/ Ezpz Happy Mat (Pewter)
• plates and bowls with suction bottoms so they don’t move, and also have high sides to help getting food onto fork
• Smart speaker and lighting that is voice activated to switch lights on off etc LIFX Mini White (E27) Wi-Fi Smart LED Light Bulb, dimmable, Warm White, no hub Required, Works with Alexa, Apple HomeKit and The Google Assistant • Smart lights so I can turn the lounge room light on/off from my bed. I have also programmed it to turn on at sunset each day
Drink holder and bag holder for my wheelchair
Rubber tips for walking stick
• A family toilet seat for my 10yo who struggles with a regular sized seat due to muscle tone issues. The smaller seat is held against the lid with magnets when we need to use the regular sized seat. Just from Bunnings
Handibar to help her get out of car.

• adjustable sitting/standing desk Height Adjustable Standing Desk Frame Sit Stand Motorise Electric Table
• Door handle cover that helps with turning
• Special little shoe laces holders to help sustain the tie all day long. Got them from athletes foot for about $13 and were claimable
• Swim Fin back float for kids with a range of needs who need a bit of extra support/floatation in the water but prefer something that looks cool instead of a toddler back float (they look like shark fins in funky colours) 🙂
shower sandal also from Think mobility, it is good for cleaning feet in the shower.
• bright blue walking stick – http://www.switch-sticks.com.au/ (red) – Amazing Health Flower Folding Walking Stick Height Adjustable with Wood handle, wrist strap and Extra Free rubber ferrule
• This. I can shuffle my bum forward in my wheelchair and using this, wee into the toilet. I do have a long extension tube attached. Fabulous. There are cheap versions available but they are not nearly as good nor do they last long. It’s a bit tricky at first but I love my Whiz. Read the instructions!  Whiz Freedom Female Urinary Device Whiz Freedom Feminine Funnel
• One Touch battery operated can, jar and bottle openers NEW TOUCH AND GO ELECTRIC CAN OPENER Battery Electric Automatic GREEN
• non slip mats for benches, cars etc
• This is really helpful for opening jars – BRIX Jar Opener – Jar Key Jarkey Easy Bottle Top Cap Pop Lid Grip Twist Remover Red
• Food grade clear vinyl tubing (from e.g. bunnings) can be cut and used for people with e.g. spinal injuries do drink from cups. It’s also easier to drink thicker consistency fluids, and it’s reusable.
• Playing card holder Maxi Playing Card Holder

Cognitive Support

Visual cookbook for someone with ID
• laminating sheets & velcro dots for visual schedules Vkey 1000pcs (500 Pair Sets) 20mm Diameter Sticky Back Coins Hook & Loop Fasteners Self Adhesive Dots Tapes White
Electric timer toothbrush for someone cognitively unable to know the right time to brush teeth.
• Talking clock
• Pictello app to make social stories
• voice to text software

• Time timer https://www.timetimer.com/collections/all

• Watch with multiple alarms for toilet reminders
• The app ‘Book Creator’ for iPad $7.99 is AMAZING as you can make the most wonderful social stories. I’ve just used it to put together something for my daughter for camp. It is a social story, itinerary and she can add to it and use to make it into a camp journal. I’ve set all the pages up but she can add more herself. I’ve included positive messages, information I want her to know, some reminders and some kids jokes to make it fun
• Cpen C-Pen ReaderPen
• KNFB reader works really well to scan anything, than it will read it up.
PrizmoGo app allows you to take a photo of printed text and will read it to you
Smart lights so I can turn the lounge room light on/off from my bed. I have also programmed it to turn on at sunset each day
RM Big-Point – Talking Point Ideal for speaking and listening, records and plays back 30 seconds of sound. https://www.speld-sa.org.au/shop/assistive-technology/product/rm-big-point-talking-point.html
Bookshare – Membership costs $50 US. Great for building reading skills as you can down load from 10000’s of books and set device to highlight scan and read text, font size, colour of page, text and more.
• big keys keyboard

Organisational/Memory help

• Waterproof electronic digital timer for prompts to get out of the shower for someone with memory loss.
Apple Watch for organisational management for someone with intellectual disability.
ShowMeImages pack of Australian pecs style icons to make visual schedules for home someone with autism.
Pictello app to make social stories
• Great for making cue cards, social stories, educational resources. https://www.twinkl.co.uk/
• This site is great for making social stories https://www.sandbox-learning.com/RunScript.asp?page=37…\~PgDefault.asp – all you have to do is enter your child’s details. You can even edit how the main character looks, so they look like your child.
NutTag Bluetooth tracker for wallet, keys, work bag etc for someone with memory loss. Our Tiles need replacing and Nuttag look like they might be a better- It’s supposed to be louder and have further range and changeable batteries than tile Nut 3 Mini Smart Tag GPS Tracker Bluetooth Anti-lost Alarm Key Finder Locator
• Dawn Clock Talking Day Clock 8″ Large Display with Touchscreen Digital Calendar with Date and Time, 8 Alarms, Manual Dim
Watchminder3 it allows for many customised reminders with vibration not sound. I’ve just ordered it. Aim is to help prompt me when to eat, drink, take meds, appointments and other things to build a more consistent routine as I have trouble remembering or changing tasks.
• Watch with multiple alarms for toilet reminders – Wobl watch cheapest place was Amazon Au WobL Waterproof Vibrating Reminder Watch 
• Vibro watches https://www.aleva.com.au/malem-vibrating-watches great for kids who have trouble realising when they need to go to the toilet. Can be set to vibrate e.g. every couple of hours
• Child’s ‘time timer watch’ – this has been fantastic for my daughter! C uses it mainly for transitions.. helps keep her stress down.. so if she has ten minutes till we leave for school, she will set her watch and it beep when time is up. When she looks at it, it’s visual (red circle) can see within a second how much time is left. The other function is just a general watch which she uses at school

Communication help

ShowMeImages pack of Australian pecs style icons to make visual schedules for home someone with autism.
Proloquo2Go for communication

Sensory help

• Talking clock MagiDeal Digital Alarm Clock Talking Snooze Function with Time/ Date/Temperature Display
www.modibodi.com.au
• Zip sheets for my son who struggles with a top sheet. There is an amount of ‘pressure’ which is calming too 👍https://kidszipsheets.com.au
• Chewellery to avoid hand chewing Sensory Chew Brick Necklace (3-Pack) – Chewelry for Boys & Girls with Autism ADHD Oral Motor Chewing Biting Teething Needs – Chewable Jewelry for Kids by Solace
• We just bought a small vibrating cushion which helps with concentration and fidgeting while doing tabletop tasks. And we always have a stick of chewy tubes and pendants- ha! Senseez Calming Cushion for Kids – Blue Square
• Noise cancelling Bluetooth headphones. With or without having music on it makes being in busy areas such as shopping centres, malls, buses much more bearable. The Bose ones have a Google assistant button Bose QuietComfort 35 (Series II) Wireless Headphones, Noise Cancelling – Black
Jettproof singlets. Great for anxiety and general calming so you can search for stuff via voice command.
• I got my son Lycra sheet last week, has been working well to help him settle and sleep at night

• Smart lights so I can turn the lounge room light on/off from my bed. I have also programmed it to turn on at sunset each day
Wonsie’ suits – like a all in one suit that zips up at the back. These have been great for my son who used to frequently strip naked in public. 😬

Continence Support

• Brolly sheets – they are brilliant. Save so much washing and re-making beds! Brolly Sheets Single Mattress Protector Lime
Conni products – huge range of adults and kids stuff – Australian

owned and they actually work!
• Hospital grade mattress protectors https://www.aleva.com.au/easywipe.html – they make life sooo much easier. Just have to wipe them over with some soap and water. They are also really soft and PVC free.
Wonsie’ suits – like a all in one suit that zips up at the back. These have been great for my son who used to frequently strip naked in public. 😬
• paying for a second council general rubbish bin to accommodate incontinence products
• Conni swim shorts Conni Togglz Children Swim Pant, Blue, 14-16, 210ml

 

Vision/hearing help

• Fluoro coloured knives for someone with vision impairment and black kitchen benches. GA Homefavor 10-piece Colored Chef Knife Set with Blade Guards 
TextHear app subscription for a deaf lady wanting live captioning for private conversations
Telecoil headphones
• bed shaker alarm clock Sonic Bomb Alarm Clock
• visual smoke alarm
Wireless video doorbell with loud sounds and flashing light; landline phone with loud ring and large dial numbers; waterproof accessories for cochlear implants; Roger pen to assist in listening to conversations in loud environments, eg. dining out.
• voice to text software
C-Pen ReaderPen
• there is a small camera that attaches to glasses called an Orcam. I have two peeps with it and it’s great but…. like all awesome things there are pros and cons and this is over $6k so not considered low cost low risk and NDIS are really only approving about 50% of applications for this. It’s bloody brilliant tho!
• Be My Eyes app. Free. https://www.bemyeyes.com
KNFB reader works really well to scan anything, than it will read it up.
PrizmoGo app allows you to take a photo of printed text and will read it to you
• Braille paper Filler Paper for Braille Pocket Notebook

Supervision help

• Video monitoring
MedicAlert
Fall alert button/lanyard
• Electronic video doorbell Wireless Video Doorbell
• Electronic door lock Decdeal 4-in-1 Keypad Lock Unlocked by Password + RF Card + Remote Control + Mechanical Key (Silver)

 

This post is copyright of The Growing Space, October 2018

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