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Coalition says new autism guidelines won't affect NDIS access

New national guidelines for diagnosing autism announced by the federal government on Tuesday will have no impact on those with autism previously deemed eligible for funding under the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS), the minister for social services, Paul Fletcher, has said.

The guidelines, which aim to make assessment and diagnosis of autism more consistent, will not make it more difficult for people to qualify for the NDIS in future, Fletcher added.

Autism tests vary between states and territories, with no established biological test available to diagnose the condition. Instead, diagnosis is based on the judgment of doctors, who assess the patient’s behaviours and developmental conditions. This inconsistency prompted the National Disability Insurance Agency and the Cooperative Research Centre for Living with Autism to develop the first national guidelines.

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