What is Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) – Autism?


A diagnosis of ASD now includes several conditions that were once diagnosed separately - Autism, Asperger’s Syndrome and Atypical Autism (Persuasive Development Disorder Not Otherwise Specified – PDDNOS).

Autism commonly affects how you or a loved one learns, how they interact with others and how they cope in their surroundings.

Individuals on the Autism Spectrum may have difficulty with communicating, socialising, emotional regulation, coping with the environment and learning difficulties. 

Consistent supports and management is needed to assist all levels of ASD, however long term, if you or your loved one is diagnosed with a level 2 or 3 then more functional capacity supports will be required. Studies show that early diagnosis, and intervention of therapies, can greatly assist in reducing the symptoms across all levels. 

What are the requirements for accessing NDIS?


To make the first step to accessing the NDIS participants must meet these base requirements:

  • Age requirements (under the age of 65); and
  • Residence requirements (Australian citizen, Permanent Visa, or a Protected Special Category Visa); and either the:
  • Disability requirements; or
  • Early intervention requirements.

ASD Level 1 – Do I meet the eligibility requirements for the NDIS?


  • With a Level 1 diagnosis additional reporting and further substantiation is required as you will need to provide evidence of the impact of your disability on your life, including any impact on your mobility, communication, social interaction, learning, self-care and self-management.

Then following a confirmed diagnosis of ASD you will receive a level.

  • ASD Level 1: requires support
  • ASD Level 2: requires substantial support
  • ASD Level 3: requires very substantial support

ASD Level 2 and 3 – Do I meet the eligibility requirements for the NDIS?


  • With a Level 2 or Level 3 diagnosis you are considered to have a permanent impairment of functional capacity and so the NDIS provides automatic access, no more assessments required.


ASD is diagnosed in accordance with the criteria set out in the DSM-5 (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual 5th Edition). 

This sets out the various features of ASD under two broad categories: Social/Communication and Behaviour. 


For eligibility, a diagnosis must be sought from one of the following specialists:

  • Paediatrician
  • Psychiatrist
  • Clinical Psychologist
  • Specialist in a multi-disciplinary team

What support will I receive?


Depending on your individualised plan, the NDIS will provide you with a variety of support opportunities. 

This could include support with your therapies, technologies, equipment to help with your daily activities or modifications to your home if needed. 

Open Minds is a registered provider that specialises in providing you with capacity building services for any complex support needs you may have.

Please note: Open Minds does not currently provide services to children under 12 years of age. 

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