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Families face new ‘nightmare’, autistic children set to be backtested by NDIS

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Families with autistic children are set to experience more hardship as the NDIS move to backtest children with the condition.

Children who have already been diagnosed as autistic and had their funding needs assessed will be tested again, with the process to be repeated twice a year.

Tim Stevenson is the father of two girls, nine-year-old Alexandra and seven-year-old Katherina, who both have low-functioning autism.

Tim tells Ben Fordham the proposed tests are bound to take a toll on families already under pressure.

“If you’re diagnosed as autistic, you’re autistic. It doesn’t change, you’ve got a diagnosis. To get that originally is a nightmare.

“It’s the stress of this now that’s the nightmare for us.

“Then we hear today that maybe we’ve got to do it every six months and you’re thinking, this is getting too hard. Life’s hard enough.”

Tim says his family is struggling to pay for the care his two precious daughters need, and they’re now hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt.

“I can’t think about it any other way than I can never pay for that myself. I’ve spent all my money now, I’m broke.

“We thought this was going to be the saviour of us and help our kids get to where they want to go.”

Tim is confident the government has grossly underestimated the numbers of autistic Australian kids, saying the numbers could be up to 10% higher than expected.

Click PLAY below for the full interview