Autism Spectrum Australia

Advisor Program

What is the Autism Advisor Program?

The NSW Autism Advisor Program offers the following support to families:

  • Information about autism spectrum disorders
  • Information about family support and therapy options
  • Access to up to $12,000 funding to spend on early intervention services

How do I know if my child is eligible?

The program is available for families and carers of children who:

  • Have registered with the Autism Advisor Program prior to their 6th birthday
  • Have a conclusive diagnosis of a Pervasive Developmental Disorder (see below for more information)
  • Are citizens, permanent residents of Australia or would meet these requirements (this applies to both the carer and the child being cared for). If your child was born outside of Australia you will be required to provide proof of their residency status. In addition, if you were born overseas then you will need to provide proof of your residency regardless of where your child was born (this applies to when both parents were born overseas, you do not need to provide this proof if at least one parent was born in Australia). Please note New Zealand citizens are not automatically eligible, proof of permanent residency is required.

National Disability Insurance Scheme –

  • Please note that in some areas Helping Children with Autism (HCWA) funding is not available and families should register with National Disability Insurance Agency 1800 800 110 or www.ndis.gov.au. Please refer to the NDIS Frequently Asked Questions sheet on our website to find out if HCWA funding is available in your area. Families cannot apply for both the HCWA funding and the National Disability Insurance Scheme. 

What kind of diagnosis is needed?

A conclusive diagnosis is needed of one of the following conditions:

  • Autism
  • Autism Spectrum Disorder
  • Autistic Disorder
  • Asperger’s Syndrome/Disorder
  • Childhood Disintegrative Disorder
  • Pervasive Developmental Disorder – Not Otherwise Specified (PDD-NOS)

The child will need a written and signed Australian diagnosis on letterhead made via one of these options:

  • Paediatrician
  • Psychiatrist
  • A multidisciplinary team (a multidisciplinary team must include both a psychologist and speech therapist.

The therapists need to conduct a combined assessment and diagnosis and sign the report)
Please note that having “characteristics/features/symptoms of autism” is not a conclusive diagnosis.
For more information contact an Autism Advisor on 1300 978 611
For a language interpreter call 13 14 50

To apply you can complete the form below or call us for a hard copy of the form.

Autism Advisor Program NSW

Application Form

Parent/Carer Details

Main Contact:

Contact 2 (optional)

Contact 3 (optional)

*You may include contacts for any significant person in your child’s life who has legal rights and / or responsibilities or someone providing your family with significant support. These are people we may be in contact with regarding your child. If you are unsure please speak with an Autism Advisor or add comments here. An example may be where there is a formal or informal shared care arrangement. If there are formal court orders which prevent access to the child from a specific person – please send in a copy.

Language and Culture


Gross Family Weekly Income

The Gross Family Weekly Income is the total of the gross individual incomes of each family member 15 years and older living in a household. Family income only applies to families in occupied private dwellings. Family income is not applicable to non-family households such as group households or lone person households; or to people in nonprivate dwellings. Please note that this is for research only and your answer will not affect your application to the Autism Advisor program.


How did you hear about the Autism Advisor Program?


These documents MUST be attached in order for your application to be processed


These documents are to be attached if they are available and/or relevant to your child


If there are any parenting plans in place for shared care of your child or court orders that may impact on your child’s residence or prevent access to the child from a specific person, please provide copies of relevant documents. Court orders must be attached if the child is in the care of anyone other than the parents as stated on the birth certificate e.g. foster carers, grandparent carers


Consent Information

Dear Parent, Carer or Guardian, you are required to read this document to ensure you understand your rights and responsibilities regarding the collection of personal information for the purposes of accessing early intervention services under the Helping Children with Autism package/Better Start for Children with Disability initiative before completing the client consent below.

Helping Children with Autism (HCWA) package and Better Start for Children with Disability (Better Start) initiative

These two programmes aim to assist eligible children with autism or developmental disabilities to access funding for early intervention services.

As part of these programmes the Department of Social Services (DSS) will provide funds to service providers to assist eligible children and their families or carers. Payments for the services provided to you and/or your child will be made to the service provider on your behalf when they submit a claim for payment (pending the balance of available funding for your child). Therefore, information about you and your child is collected from you by the service providers for the purposes of assisting and providing you with services under the HCWA/Better Start programme. If you do not provide the requested information, your child’s eligibility to receive funding under the Helping Children with Autism package/Better Start for Children with Disability initiative cannot be determined.

Some of the information collected will assist DSS to plan and deliver services for people with disabilities.

HCWA and Better Start transitioning to the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS)

Both the HCWA and Better Start programmes are transitioning to the NDIS as the NDIS is rolled out in accordance with phasing arrangements determined by the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA).

Some information collected by DSS may be passed on to NDIA to assist NDIA to plan and deliver services for people with disabilities.

What information is collected?

The information listed below is collected from you by your service provider. By signing this form you are giving permission for your service provider to give this information to DSS.

  • Your child’s name
  • Your child’s date of birth, sex, address, and if you and your child are Australian citizens or permanent residents;
  • Your child’s Centrelink Customer Reference Number (CRN); and
  • Your contact information, address, phone number and email address.

You can ask your service provider to give you a written copy of the information that they have shared with DSS or for more information, you can ask them for a copy of their APP Privacy Policy.

Protection of information

Your service provider is obliged to observe strict privacy rules called the Australian Privacy Principles (APPs) which are contained in the Privacy Act 1988 (Cth) . This means that they must:

  • Tell you why they need to collect your information (i.e. to assess your eligibility for funding);
  • Tell you what they do with your information and who they will give it to (e.g. DSS and any other parties DSS chooses);
  • Store the information securely;
  • Only use the information for the purposes Aspect obtained it for; and
  • Only pass your information on when the law allows, when you have consented and when you have been advised of the other parties to whom your information may be given.

The information that is forwarded to DSS is stored in a secure manner and only a limited number of DSS staff have access to your personal information. Your information may also be provided for the following purposes to the following groups:

  • For the administration of the programmes, specific information may be provided to –
       a. contracted service providers; and/or
       b. other Australian Government departments/organisations, particularly the NDIA (due to transitioning arrangements).
  • For the purposes of research and evaluating the programmes, de-identified information may be provided to –
       a. contracted service providers; and/or
       b. other Australian Government departments/organisations.

Your CRN is protected information as defined by the Social Security Act 1991. Your CRN is protected by the Social Security (Administration) Act 1999 and will only be provided to DSS with your consent.

DSS sometimes provides information about people who are accessing Australian Government funded services to other Australian Government departments and researchers. When this happens, only limited information is made available and DSS removes all details that could identify you, e.g. your name. This is so no one will be able to identify the information as belonging to you.

The other government departments and researchers who are given access to your personal information must also observe the Australian Privacy Principles when handling the information. The Federal Privacy Commissioner can investigate allegations of improper collection, use and disclosure of personal information by government departments.

DSS has a Privacy Policy which outlines information on the collection of personal information and the Australian Privacy Principles. This policy can be found at: http://www.dss.gov.au/privacy-policy.

General enquiries and requests to access or correct personal information

If you wish to:

  • query how your personal information is collected, held, used or disclosed;
  • ask questions about this Privacy Policy;
  • obtain access to or seek correction of your personal information;

please contact the DSS Compliments and Enquiries area using the following contact details:
email: DSSfeedback@dss.gov.au
post: DSS Feedback, PO Box 7576, Canberra Business Centre ACT 2610.

*please note these contact details are for questions relating to the collection of personal information only, do not send your application to this address.

Contact details for privacy complaints

If you wish to make a complaint about a breach of your privacy, please contact the DSS Feedback and Coordination team using the following contact details:
telephone: 1800 634 035
fax: (02) 6133 8442
email: complaints@dss.gov.au
post: DSS Feedback, PO Box 7576, Canberra Business Centre, 2610.

*please note these contact details are for feedback and complaints only, do not send your application to this address.

Client Consent Form

Client Consent for Collection of Personal Information

The personal information as listed above is collected from you by the service provider for the purposes of determining your child’s eligibility to receive funding under the Helping Children with Autism package/Better Start for Children with Disability initiative and future research and evaluation of these programmes. The service provider is required to pass this information to DSS. DSS may then provide your information to a contracted service provider and/or to another Australian Government department/organisation for administration, research and evaluation purposes.


have read this document and hereby give consent for the service provider to disclose, as required, my information to DSS. I understand that DSS may then provide my information to a contracted service provider and/or to another Australian Government department/organisation for administration, research and evaluation purposes. I acknowledge that the disclosure of some or all of my information will occur for the purpose of assisting the Australian Government to manage its responsibilities.


Office use only - Compliance with Australian Privacy Principles


have read and explained to the child’s parent, carer or guardian. I believe they understand that:
  • the personal information they are asked to provide is collected for the purpose of determining access to and delivery of funding under the Helping Children with Autism package/Better Start for Children with Disability initiative; and
  • this service outlet is required, to pass some or all of this information to DSS. DSS may then provide this information to a contracted service provider and/or to another Australian Government department/organisation for administration, research and evaluation purposes.

Aspect Parent/Guardian Consent Information

Protection of information

The collection and management of information by the NSW Autism Advisor Program is governed by the Privacy Act 1988 and the information Privacy Principles.
The information that is forwarded to DSS and Aspect is stored in a secure manner and only a limited number of authorised staff have access to your personal information.
Complaints about the management of personal information are addressed in accordance with the Information Privacy Principles in the Privacy Act 1988.

What information is collected?

All the information that is requested on the NSW Autism Advisor Program application form is shared with DSS and Aspect including your child’s name, date of birth, address, sex, Centrelink Reference Number and parent/guardian contact details.?


Parent/Guardian Consent for Autism Spectrum Australia (Aspect) to Collect and Disclose Personal Information

Autism Spectrum Australia (Aspect) requires your consent to collect personal information to provide data to the Autism Advisor Program. Aspect uses the personal information you provide to respond to your request or application for service, for managing and administering the services we provide to you or the person mentioned above and the administration of Aspect’s business operations. Aspect may also use the personal information you provide for the purposes of evaluation, research and improvement of Aspect’s services and management.
I consent to Autism Spectrum Australia (Aspect) contacting me for the purposes outlined above.

Advisor Program