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Coast Single Mum-Of-Four Demands Better From NDIS

Weighing up giving up care of her boys.

Coast Single Mum-Of-Four Demands Better From NDIS Deearne Gundry/facebook

After several years of disappointment, a single mum of three boys with Autism and a fourth with several severe disabilities has slammed the NDIS.

Blue Haven woman DeeArne Gundry is a full-time carer to her sons, and says the scheme has made her life harder rather than easier because of its desire not to purchase the most expensive equipment.

She says she's having to bathe her eight-year-old son Justin - who has Autism, global development delay and an extremely rare genetic disorder called CDKL5 among other conditions - on her lounge room floor.

"When they do their assistive technology they've got a certain price figure in mind, and if it comes above that they're just like 'No, not acceptable'," Ms Gundry says.

"With Justin, I was going for a shower trolley which was more expensive (than other trolleys), but it was going to last 10 or 15 years."

Ms Gundry says the scheme has also dragged its heels on funding home modifications to help out Justin, and declined to finance several programs for her other three children. 

“My eldest son Joshua suffers from severe anxiety disorder, so for him to leave the house he ends up having panic attacks. They haven't given him enough funding for adequate therapies."

In a statement, an NDIS spokesperson acknowledges Ms Gundry's circumstances are complex and require "both health and NDIS disability-related supports".

"While some of the family’s assistive technology requests have been approved, the remainder require further evidence and specialist advice. The NDIS will continue to work with the family to finalise their assistive technology requests as quickly as possible.”

Ms Gundry says it's getting to the point where she's considering relinquishing her boys to out-of-home care for her own health.

She says she feels compelled to speak out given hers is not an isolated case.

"I've got another friend whose son goes to Justin's school who can't get a wheelchair. I met a woman at Westmead: Her son has up to 200 seizures a day and was denied a wheelchair even though he can't walk because he keeps having seizures. Everybody is having issues."

 
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