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With the advent of the NDIS rolling out in Cairns from 1 July this year, many people have been asking us questions about this new government initiative. Is your child eligible for physiotherapy under the NDIS?

As with any government initiative, it is a rather long-winded process to register with the NDIS and ultimately receive funding. Here are a few key points that may be of assistance for those who are looking into NDIS funding.


To be eligible for the NDIS, a person needs to:

• live in Australia and be a citizen or permanent resident.
• be under 65 (this shouldn’t be a problem for most kids!), and either:
– have an impairment or condition that is likely to be permanent (lifelong), or
– be a child under 6 years of age with a developmental delay which means you usually need            more help with your self-care, communication, learning or motor skills than another child of          the same age.

Application process

To obtain funding from the NDIS, patients need to apply to the NDIA, which is the agency that looks after NDIS funding. The NDIS will become available in Cairns, Cassowary Coast, Tablelands, Croydon, Etheridge, Cape York and Torres Strait from 1 July 2018. A person may meet the access requirements to become a participant of the NDIS up to 6 months prior to this date. The NDIS has a fact sheet that can be found by clicking here.

There are no details currently available about how to contact the NDIA in Cairns. We will make this information available at our website when it becomes available.

Getting the right advice is paramount to getting the right funding. If you don’t set out the goals correctly for your child in your application for NDIS funding, things that may be needed will not be funded. Speak with your child’s paediatrician or a GP who treats children first. You can also seek help from a paediatric physiotherapist, occupational therapist, and/or speech therapist before applying.

Getting a paediatric assessment

You can ring either Proactive Physiotherapy on 4053 6222, or Cairns Children’s Clinic on 4222 1484 to book an appointment. No referral is required for a paediatric physio assessment or for treatment. You can access a Paediatric physio with or without an NDIS plan.

If your child has a disability and you would like to see a paediatric physiotherapist using NDIS funding, you can book an appointment. Advise the clinic you have an NDIS plan and bring the plan with you when you attend your appointment.

How a totally dedicated physio can help

Paediatric physio can help your child reaching developmental milestones, or assist you and your child in getting equipment they need to improve mobility or independence (wheelchair, tricycles, walking frames etc).

Physiotherapy will also improve your child’s ability by working on specific skills to reach their own personal goals. This could be anything from running 5 kilometres without pain to being able to crawl or sit upright.

Some children may find it difficult to keep up at school with HPE. You may notice that they are not as quick climbing on the playground, or they may avoid certain activities or toys and play equipment. This can be due to a slight developmental delay or kids just developing in a slightly different way. I can held find the cause of this and then we can work together on a treatment plan to address any of these issues.

If your child is walking on their toes or is in-toeing and tripping over his/her owns feet, there are things I can do to assist with as well. There are a range of fun activities and exercises that I can teach to strengthen weakened muscles, and this has a positive effect on the way they walk.

Coming to Cairns Paediatric Physiotherapy means that you will be stepping into a clinic where it is all about your child. It’s a light, bright, non-threatening environment where your child will be encouraged to show their skills. I will give it my all to assist taking these skills to the next level.


Visit the Proactive Physio website.