For some who experience disability, sensory toys and other equipment can be very useful. These consumables can help to reduce stress and anxiety and increase concentration and calm.
One common question we get from parents is: are these products covered by the NDIS?
In this article, we’re answering that question and more. For further information, we recommend visiting the NDIS website regarding sensory items.
What are sensory consumables?
For children who are part of the autism, ADHD, and NDIS community, sensory consumables can be very useful.
Sensory toys and equipment are designed to stimulate one or more senses. This can regulate sensory needs helping to reduce anxiety, provide distraction, and increase calm.
Whether it’s a ‘wiggle’ seat that can encourage children to sit still, a weighted blanket that provides a calming feeling, fidget toys that help increase concentration or a sensory ball that’s fun and calming to play with––many consumable items can help.
Are sensory products covered by the NDIS?
When considering whether an item or service is covered by the NDIS, it’s always essential to consider two main parameters:
- Is it ‘reasonable and necessary’?
For supports to be funded, they must be considered ‘reasonable and necessary’ by the NDIS.
- Is it related to a goal in the NDIS plan?
All supports must also relate to a goal in the participant’s plan.
Other considerations for the NDIS
When deciding whether sensory consumables will be covered, the NDIS takes a range of other considerations into account. These include:
- Whether the item is specifically related to the participant’s disability
- Whether the item is value for money compared with alternatives
- Whether the item is effective and beneficial
- Whether the item provides better support than other options more commonly available
The reality is, that many sensory items simply don’t fall under NDIS funding.
Why the NDIS could decline sensory equipment
There are many reasons why the NDIS may decide to decline funding for sensory items. Some common reasons for declining such items include:
- The sensory item falls under the category of play equipment which means it doesn’t meet the criteria.
- The item is publicly available for low costs––such as public swings, pools, or trampolines.
- The item is considered an everyday household item that shouldn’t require funding under the NDIS.
- The sensory item has been shown to cause harm––or there isn’t sufficient proof that the item is safe for children.
- There hasn’t been a trial by a therapist to ensure that the item will be both safe and effective for the child.
What items are likely to be covered?
Assuming the items fit all criteria, some commonly approved items include:
- Items related to personal care and safety
- Assistive products for activities/recreation
- Consumables relating to education and concentration
We’re here to help
Have questions about sensory consumables? Our friendly team is only too happy to help.