He told reporters: “There are tens of thousands of people [with ADHD] who are on the scheme who are diagnosed with autism as their primary condition.”
TV presenter author Em Rusciano, who has a son with autism, and a daughter with ADHD, who was also diagnosed with the chronic condition last year, has advocated for the scheme to be expanded as families were struggling to access support, as per SBS News.
While speaking with the National Press Club last year, Rusciano made an emotional plea and called for ‘proper government recognition and support’.
"ADHD needs to be included in the NDIS as a primary disability," she added.
Despite ADHD being recognised as a disability under the 1992 Disability Discrimination Act, it’s not included on the list of conditions supported by the agency.
ADHD being included in the NDIS would have changed my life and the life of so many people I know and love for the better. People have no idea, hey.— Bang Bang Bart (@Cormac_McCafe) September 27, 2022
However, Mr Shorten said that the NDIS doesn’t cover the neuro-developmental disorder as it can be challenging for someone to meet the criteria for severe disability and permanent disability.
He told SBS News in a statement: “Generally, a person will be eligible for the NDIS if their disability is, or is likely to be, permanent and significantly affects their communication, social interaction, learning, mobility, self-care or self-management.
"People whose disabilities are not listed on the access lists, such as people with ADHD, can still become NDIS participants if they meet the requirements set out in the NDIS Act. However, not all people with ADHD will meet the requirements in the NDIS Act to be a participant."
Last year, while appearing on A Current Affair, ADHD Australia Chief Professor Michael Kohn said that more experts and families demanded more governmental support.
He added that the lack of financial support had led to an 80 per cent spike in children being medicated for the condition.
Kohn said: “That number could be a lot lower, it would be a lot easier if parents could access those alternative therapies if they chose to.”
According to Deloitte, the neurodevelopmental disorder affects more 800,000 people in Australia today.
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