FAQs about our SBSP
Frequently Asked Questions about the Learning for Life Autism Centre’s School Behavioural Support Program (SBSP)
To view and download a PDF file of these FAQs, please click here.
- What is Learning for Life’s School Behavioural Support Program (SBSP)?
- What is ABA?
- What is ABA at Learning for Life?
- What qualifications do your SBSP Clinical Consultants have?
- Can my child access other therapeutic supports at the same time as SBSP?
- Where do SBSP consultations take place?
- When do consultations run?
- What areas do you service?
- Do you offer centre-based services?
- Where is your office located?
- How long is your waitlist for service?
- Who is eligible to access the SBSP?
- What are the SBSP fees?
- Do we have to pay extra for your staff to travel to our home?
- Can I use NDIS funding towards the cost of SBSP consultations?
- Our NDIS plan does not cover the full cost of the program, can we still access the program?
- We don’t have an NDIS plan, can we still access the program?
- Can I claim the cost of SBSP from my Private Health Insurer?
- Can I claim the cost of SBSP services on Medicare?
- Do you have child safe practices?
- What are your practices for protecting our privacy?
- How can I give feedback or make a complaint?
- I have read your FAQs and still have questions. How can I get these answered?
1. What is Learning for Life’s School Behavioural Support Program?
Learning for Life’s School Behavioural Support Program (SBSP) utilises Applied Behavioural Analysis (ABA) strategies to support school aged children experiencing difficulties in a range of areas, such as social interaction, inattention, compliance, coping in the playground, tolerance and independent completion of work.
Clinical consultants work with the child, their parents/guardians, school teachers and/or other therapy providers to support in their school environment. For those with challenges that are preventing attendance at school (whether resulting from anxiety, school refusal or behaviours leading to suspension/expulsion from school) our Clinical Consultants work on strategies to facilitate the child’s return to school. If appropriate the Clinical Consultants can also provide support related to the home environment.
Upon enrolment in Learning for Life’s SBSP, one of our experienced clinical consultants will conduct an initial 30 minute phone or video consultation with the child’s parent or guardian. This will be followed by 2 hours (either continuous or split into 2 x 1 hour sessions) of consultation with, and/or observations of, the child at the child’s school or home. This is followed up with a written report outlining the consultant’s recommendations, which is emailed to the parents/carers.
If requested, the clinical consultant can then further provide ongoing support based on the recommendations of the initial report. This includes observations and meetings, with the child, the parents and/or educators.
If ongoing services are requested following the initial consultation, families will need to enter into a Service Agreement with Learning for Life with respect to the services being provided. This is to ensure all services provided are directly linked to the goals in your child’s plan, and that, if funded by NDIS, funding allocation for the review report required is included.
2. What is ABA?
Applied Behavioural Analysis (ABA) is an evidence-based intervention approach that assesses an individual’s behaviours and works to both increase positive learning and decrease those behaviours which may be socially isolating, physically harmful or which present a significant speedbump to learning. Primarily, ABA is about helping an individual to learn or re-learn how to achieve, to live life fully, and to reach their potential.
ABA focuses on breaking down complex skills, to smaller, more achievable steps. ABA achieves effective results, has an immediate impact and uses practical ideas. Children are never punished for failing to master a task, but every achievement is rewarded with enthusiastic encouragement.
ABA is used in a wide range of settings, such as medical, educational, mental health, rehabilitation, and health and exercise. It is recognised as one way for people on the autism spectrum to “learn how to learn” and has been subjected to rigorous scientific investigation around the world.
3. What is ABA at Learning for Life?
Every program at Learning for Life is tailored specifically to the child, taking into account the child’s (and their family’s) preferences, strengths, interest, needs and challenges. Our practice reflects our core belief that the children we work with have the right to the same choices, opportunities and experiences of all children and that their rights and choices are important. We also recognise the importance of family and seek to ensure parents have the information, resources and support needed to participate in and benefit from the program.
At Learning for Life we actively promote resilience in a safe and nurturing way in order to empower the child and provide a pathway to independence and choice. When seeking to address challenges we look to the underlying cause to better understand the challenge, taking into account the right or need of the child to engage in actions or behaviours even if they might otherwise be considered unusual.
We believe in a team-based approach which sees a child’s Clinical Consultant, teachers and parents/guardians working together to support the child and provide a framework to best enable the child to achieve the milestones and goals agreed as part of their program.
4. What qualifications do your SBSP Clinical Consultants have?
Each of our SBSP Clinical Consultants have an allied health degree as well as at least four years ABA experience working with young children with ASD. You may be allocated an Occupational Therapist, Psychologist or Speech Therapist as your Clinical Consultant.
Each Clinical Consultant is supported by both our Head of Psychological Services and our Clinical Director and undergoes continual professional development and internal training and supervision.
Bios for each of our Clinical Consultants are available on the “Our Team” page on our website.
5. Can my child access other therapies at the same time as SBSP?
It is important that families make themselves aware of other relevant supports and therapies available when considering whether to enrol in SBSP at Learning for Life. Paediatricians should also be able to advise you about other therapies and the Autism section of the Raising Children Parenting Website is a great source of information for parents of children with ASD.
Learning for Life believes in a holistic approach to support provision and respects parent choice as to what supports are right for their child. In some cases, Clinical Consultants may recommend other therapies such as Occupational Therapy or Speech Therapy be run in conjunction with the SBSP program. They may also recommend supported socialisation activities such as specifically facilitated socials skills groups.
If a client is considering biomedical treatments for their child we ask that they consult with their Clinical Consultant first as such treatment can impact the progress and validity of our program.
6. Where do SBSP consultations take place?
Learning for Life offers service at our centre in Kew, in a child’s school and at the child’s home. Where a child is attending school, school observations and Clinical Consultant communication with the child’s teacher are common components of the program.
7. When do consultations run?
Learning for Life’s SBSP hours of operation are 8am to 6pm, Monday to Friday. Consultations usually run between 1 and 2 hours and will be scheduled at times agreed with the family (and, if relevant, the school).
8. What areas do you service?
We provide service throughout Victoria. Some areas beyond greater Melbourne can be more difficult to staff, which may impact ability for us to take on new families in certain locations from time to time. Families located beyond 50km from our centre in Kew will incur travel time fees and those located in remote regional Victorian towns will be subject to remote location fees in accordance with the NDIS Pricing Guide.
9. Do you offer centre-based services?
Yes – we offer centre-based services for our School Behavioural Support Program.
10. Where is your office located?
Our office is located at 25-27 High Street South, Kew, Victoria 3101, between Kew Junction and Barkers Road. There is on and off-street parking available and the number 48 and number 109 trams run directly past the centre.
11. How long is your waitlist for service?
We keep a register of families who enquire about service and submit an Expression of Interest form. When capacity opens up to take on a new family, assessment is made against the Expression of Interest Register, taking into account our principles for priority of access. As priority of access is determined on a combination of factors it is very difficult to provide an indication of wait times. For this reason, we recommend that families continue to investigate other services even after submitting an Expression of Interest form.
12. Who is eligible to access SBSP?
Enrolment in Learning for Life’s SBSP service is open to school aged children who have difficulties engaging in their everyday environments (e.g. social difficulties and/or engagement in high rates of behaviours of concern), regardless of whether or not a child has a diagnosis of ASD, ADHD or other conduct disorders. Parents/guardians may submit an Expression of Interest Form for their child to register interest in our service, but access and enrolment will depend on our capacity at the time. If a child turns 18 or graduates from year 12 at high school before accessing service they will be removed from the Expression of Interest Register as they will no longer meet criteria for access.
Once enrolled, a child may continue in the program until the later of graduation from high school or reaching the age of 18.
13. What are the EIBI fees?
Fees are invoiced weekly via email and payment is required within 7 days of the date of invoice.
14. Do we have to pay extra for your staff to travel to our home?
We do not charge for travel time for locations within 50kms from the Centre in Kew. Travel beyond 50km is charged at $193.99 per hour for Clinical Consultants.
15. Can I use NDIS funding towards the cost of SBSP consultations?
Yes – If your child has a self-managed or plan-managed NDIS plan with funding available under the Capacity Building – Improved Daily Living category whereby the nature of supports within this category are either not specified or refer to any of:
- other therapy (or therapy generally); or
- supports provided by an allied health assistant or therapy assistant.
At this stage Learning for Life is not a registered NDIS provider and therefore cannot service clients on an agency-managed NDIS plan or provide Specialist Behavioural Intervention Supports categorised by the NDIS under Improved Relationships. We are currently going through the registration process through, and once registered, will be able to support agency managed clients and provide services categorised by the NDIS under Improved Relationships.
16. Our NDIS plan does not cover the full cost of the program, can we still access the program?
Yes – although NDIS funding can be used to cover the cost of our programs, NDIS funding it not a prerequisite to accessing service. Given Learning for Life is not currently registered with the NDIS, clients are directly responsible for paying service fees themselves and then clients with NDIS funding are responsible for claiming fees back from the NDIS to the extent applicable.
17. We don’t have an NDIS plan, can we still access the program?
Yes – as noted above, although NDIS funding can be used to cover the cost of our programs, NDIS funding it not a prerequisite to accessing our services. Clients are responsible for paying service fees directly regardless of how they fund it.
18. Can I claim the cost of the SBSP consultations under my Private Health Insurance?
Please ask your specific Private Health Insurer whether they will cover the cost of Speech Therapy, Psychology or Occupational Therapy as our Clinical Consultants who provide SBSP consultations all hold one of these professional registrations. If so, clients will need to pay the Learning for Life invoice and then use the invoice receipt to claim directly from their Private Health Insurer.
19. Can I claim the cost of SBSP services on Medicare?
Within our School Behavioural Support Program we are able to provide psychological services which are able to be funded in part with support of a GP referred Mental Health Care Plan and associated Medicare Rebate (for the amount of hours specified in the Mental Health Care Plan for a given calendar year). Such funding is separate to NDIS funding. Please note Medicare requires that the person holding the Mental Health Care Plan be present at all appointments. As such if the plan is for the child a rebate cannot be claimed for any meetings with parents and/or teachers without the child present. In the case where frequent parent consultations (without the child) are required parents can sometimes get their own Mental Health Care Plan.
20. Do you have child safe practices?
Yes – Learning for Life is a child safe organisation and is committed to the protection and well-being of children and young people. Our Child Safe and Vulnerable Person Policy is available for viewing on our website.
Learning for Life has strict recruitment and screening practices, including the requirement for all staff to have valid and up to date Working with Children Checks and National Police Checks. All new staff also undertake child safety training as part of their onboarding process and sign specific acknowledgement of our Staff Code of Conduct (noting that our Code of Conduct Policy is also available for viewing on our website).
Our Practice Manager, Celeste Sullivan, is the Learning for Life Child Safe Officer.
21. What are you practices for protecting our privacy?
Our General Manager-Operations, Victoria Crane, is the Learning for Life Privacy Officer.
22. How can I give feedback or make a complaint?
Our Client Complaints & Feedback Policy is available for viewing on our website. Feedback or complaints can be made in a number of ways, including:
- anonymously via our online feedback form;
- via mail, email or verbally to our Practice Manager at PO Box 7118 Hawthorn North VIC 3122 or firstname.lastname@example.org or 0448 127 508
- via email or verbally to our CEO, Clinical Director, General Manager-Operations or your allocated Clinical Consultant.
23. I have read your FAQs and still have questions. How can I get these answered?
Please email email@example.com if you have any remaining questions or would like a Learning for Life staff member to call you to discuss further.