Supporting your support network

What is a support network?

A support network includes the family, extended relatives, friends, community groups and carers of people living with disability. Support networks are crucial in the ongoing care and development of individuals receiving specialist therapy supports.

Why are support networks important?

Supports networks provide the essential daily care and sustenance enabling people with disabilities to thrive between their scheduled therapy sessions.

At LiveBig, we understand the importance of support networks, and work to support them in every way we can. This involves working with the individual but also their family and other carers to establish a holistic approach to health and wellbeing that will give the best quality of life.

Involving the entire family or support network in care

Using a combination of assessment, education and targeted activities, a LiveBig allied health therapist is able to guide the person with disability, their parents, carers or even an entire classroom, through structured sessions aimed at building everyone’s capacity.

LiveBig involve entire families or others in the support network to increase quality health outcomes. Participants in a therapy session are able to watch, learn, play and get feedback to support ongoing practice and repetition of specific skills.

What does this look like?

This might look like playing a game that practices physical co-ordination, creating a safe space for expression or even shifting perspectives and thinking differently about challenging situations.

The role of the therapist is ultimately to empower a participant and their network to build skills that lead to sustainable outcomes and eventually make their services redundant.

Making learning fun

A speech therapist, for example, can introduce a role play to a classroom that practices use of visual clues in communication. While targeting a participant who needs to increase their use of eye contact and gesture, the therapist is able to build the capacity and skills of everyone in the classroom and support effective and meaningful exchanges of information between the participant, their peers and teachers using a system based on universal teaching and learning.

An occupational therapist working to build a participant’s bilateral co-ordination might introduce a throwing and catching game with a sibling or parent that feels more like fun than a gross motor exercise.

Families and caregivers share success

By maintaining the focus of an activity at the group level, rather than the target participant, learning and effort is shared and supported. Families and care givers become an integral part of the process of teaching and learning, as well as sharing the success as goals are achieved.

Celebrating the small wins

Positive reinforcement is possibly the most critical part of the therapy journey. Celebrating the small wins is particularly important in creating momentum towards the achievement of a specific therapy goal. Therapy sessions are often great opportunities for recognising and celebrating a person’s progress.

LiveBig therapists can provide insights and suggestions on how to do this based on a tailored reward program designed around individual goals and interests. They can provide support networks with a range of positive feedback strategies including praise, immediate reward and non-immediate reward.

Get started today.

Finding activities for kids with disabilities

What activities are right for your child with disability?

Having a disability doesn’t mean your child should miss out on fun activities. Activities like dance, sports or learning a musical instrument are building blocks that can set children up to succeed. The difficulty is finding something your child is both interested in and can sustainably enjoy, whether they have a disability or not.

There are many more factors to consider when choosing an activity if your child has a disability. For example, many children with autism dislike loud noises. Knowing this, group sports like soccer with lots of shouting and whistles might not be suitable for them. If they’re still interested in sports, you could consider rock climbing or tennis that have much less background noise and more space, so they’re more likely to enjoy themselves.

Finding the right activity will involve trial and error. Here are some other tips to help you in your search for the right activity.

Ask your child what they want to do

Asking your child what they’re interested in is a great way to get them engaged in the activity from the beginning. Giving your child options for activities they can choose from involves them in the decision-making process. You may need to try a few different types of activities to get a sense of what they like doing.

Consider your child’s strengths and abilities

Along with asking them what they’d to do, consider your child’s strengths and weaknesses. Consider what they’re good at and what might not be suitable due to their disability. They’re likely to get frustrated if they’re not able to do the activity, so this is important! You might even want to enrol your child for a few classes to start off with to see if they enjoy it.

Look into programs designed for kids with disability

Depending on your location and your child, programs specifically designed for kids with disabilities are available and might be the best option for your child. These programs often have staff trained in care for children with disabilities and include a safe environment where your child can be themselves.

Speak with the organisers

Check with the activity organisers to find out what it involves, and how it could be modified to suit your child. Is it an inclusive environment? Do the instructors/teachers have experience or training with children with disabilities? Again, you can negotiate enrolling in a few classes to start off with to see if your child enjoys it.

Speak with your child

Speaking with your child about what they’re going to be doing and showing them pictures or videos about what their new activity looks like can help take away some mystery. Explaining where they are going, who will be there and what’s going to happen is helpful for any child starting something new, especially for children with disability who are used to being in familiar environments.

Give yourself plenty of time to get there

When you’re caring for a child with disability, things can sometimes take longer to do. This is especially true for bigger activities that you may need different clothes or equipment for. Allow extra time to get to your activity, especially if it’s one of your first sessions.

Start small

It’s normal for parents of children with disability to be unsure about the idea of adding something new into their routine. It can be daunting for children in unfamiliar environments, especially if your child has a disability and are used to their daily routine. Start with one class and see how it goes. You can then add it into their schedule once they get used to it. By starting small, anxiety for parent and child can decrease, making for a more enjoyable experience overall.

What is an NDIS support coordinator?

What is a support coordinator?

A support coordinator is a professional who connects people on NDIS plans with supports and community services. This role is helpful to aid in a person’s management of disability, illness or injury and is available to NDIS participants with a plan.

Learn more about your NDIS plan.

Depending on your individual goals and NDIS plan objectives, you may receive funding for three levels of support in your plan. These include:

  • Support connection
    Building your ability to connect with both formal and informal supports so you can get the most out of your NDIS plan.
  • Support coordination
    Building your ability to understand and implement your NDIS plan. Your support coordinator will help you maintain relationships with your service providers, manage your service delivery and live more independently.
  • Specialist support coordination
    For people who need specialist support in their more complex situation. This higher level of support gives you a consistency in your service delivery and helps you manage any challenges with your NDIS plan.

What do support coordinators do?

Although the main function of a support coordinator is to help connect participants with supports, they also perform a number of other functions to assist people with disability, and their families, to navigate their NDIS plan.

Your support coordinator should:

  • Help you understand how to use your NDIS plan.
  • Teach you how to use the NDIS portal to monitor your funds.
  • Manage your NDIS services to get the best outcome from your plan.
  • Negotiate with service providers around their services for you and the cost.
  • Monitor the progress and outcomes of your health goals.
  • Help you prepare for your next NDIS review.
  • Work with your support network (family, friends and other service providers) to help you meet your health goals set out in your NDIS plan.

How do I get a support coordinator?

You will be allocated funding in your NDIS plan to pay for a support coordinator. During your first meeting with the NDIS, you can let them know that you want to proceed with a support coordinator and can change your mind at any time.

How do I find the right support coordinator for me?

Like in any aspect of life, the people we surround ourselves with make a big difference to our happiness and quality of life. Having the right support coordinator is crucial to help you get the best outcomes from your NDIS plan.

At LiveBig, we don’t offer support coordination ourselves because our focus is on providing specialised allied health services to our clients with disabilities.

If you’d like to choose your own support coordinator, organisations like Ability Options, Marli and Moe and Yooralla can help match you with the right person to support you.

A full list of NDIS service providers can be found on the NDIS website, including all registered organisation offering support coordination.

Can I still get a support coordinator if I’m self-managing my NDIS plan?

Yes, you can still have funding for a support coordinator no matter how you choose to manage your plan. Check your plan for details and contact the NDIS if you’re unsure.

Visit the NDIS website for further details.

Using your NDIS funds for LiveBig therapy and assessment services

Choosing the right LiveBig therapist

LiveBig have a range of specialist allied health professionals including occupational therapists, speech pathologists, exercise physiologists, physiotherapists and psychologists.

Our values shape our ethos and our staff have a shared drive to deliver responsive, high-quality professional services we can all be proud of. We get to know you to find out which of our therapists would best suit your needs, your personality, your location and your environment.

Paying for therapy and assessment services

There are two ways for you to pay LiveBig for your therapy and assessment services using your NDIS funds. You can either use myplace portal to make a payment request and pay for your services once the money comes into your nominated bank account, or pay for your services upfront and then make a payment request to get the money back.

Do you have questions? You can download a helpful guide from the NDIS website.

At LiveBig, you pay the NDIS price guide for all our therapy and assessment services. Every therapy service and assessment has a different cost. We like to be transparent, so have a look at the price guide or ask us at your service agreement meeting to confirm what you’ll be charged.

Managing your NDIS budget

There are three different ways you can manage your NDIS plan:

  • Self-managed: The NDIA provides you with funding so you can access the supports that will best help you achieve your goals. 
  • Plan-managed: The NDIA will provide funding in your plan to pay for a Plan Manager. This Plan Manager will pay your providers on your behalf, help you keep track of funds and take care of financial reporting for you.
  • NDIA-managed funding: The NDIA pays your providers on your behalf.

Working with your LiveBig therapist

Your LiveBig therapist will work with you, and the important people in your life, to create a personalised therapy plan to reach your goals. We’re available outside of standard office hours to fit in with you.

Of course, we’ll keep in touch to check everything is going well. The NDIS can be confusing and we want to make it easier for you. You’ll get a monthly statement from us so you can clearly see how much money you’ve spent on what services, and how much NDIS funding you have left.

Our specialised allied health professionals focus on getting things right for each person and their family. Whether you have simple, moderate or very complex needs, we want to help you LiveBig.

The benefits of occupational therapy

What is occupational therapy?

Occupational therapy is a person-centered health profession involving the assessment, understanding and management of a person’s health limitations so they can enjoy a meaningful life. The term “occupation” in occupational therapy refers to the everyday activities that people do to occupy their time and bring structure to their day.

What do occupational therapists do?

Occupational therapists are health professionals who use a whole person approach when working with people, helping them complete daily activities with a sense of accomplishment and purpose. These include a range of self-care, work and leisure activities.

Occupational therapists recognize the importance of networks and offer a holistic approach to therapy services. LiveBig occupational therapists work with their clients’ families and carers to coordinate and establish a beneficial health plan.

To do this, occupational therapists provide assessments, planning and intervention to their clients. After conducting an initial needs assessment, they recommend devices to assist their clients in undertaking activities in the easiest way possible and then provide help using these devices. Occupational therapists also provide ongoing assessments of people’s abilities to perform everyday tasks and adjust their services accordingly.

Occupational therapists provide a range of therapy and assessment services to individuals with disability including:

  • Occupational therapists conduct both initial and ongoing assessments to determine a person’s abilities as well as ongoing therapy and intervention needs.
  • At home, school, work or in the community, occupational therapists help adapt environments to make activities in these setting easier for their clients. These modifications also include devices used to assist in navigating everyday spaces.
  • Skill development. Occupational therapists assist people in developing skills in self-care, home management, integration and reintegration into work or school settings.
  • Therapy treatment. Treatment around physical disabilities, cognitive processing, caring for wounds and manual therapy techniques can be performed by an occupational therapist.
  • Education and support. Occupational therapists offer education and support to individuals, family members and carers around the therapy and assessment services they offer. This contributes to the holistic view of occupational therapy as a discipline and contributes to the sustainability of the treatment.

Did you know?

Our Founder and CEO Marcella Romero was a Clinical Occupational Therapist before starting her first company over 20 years ago.

Why do people get occupational therapy services?

There are a variety of reasons why a person may seek out occupational therapy and assessment services. These can include help if a person has a disability or adjusting to life after sustaining an injury or illness.

Areas where occupational therapists can provide support include:

  • Help with daily activities like grooming, dressing, eating and driving, or more complex activities like household maintenance, childcare, shopping and managing finances.
  • Assistance setting up functioning work and education settings.
  • Support in setting up fun and practical leisure activities, hobbies and socializing.

Did you know?

Occupational therapy was first practiced in Western Australia in 1942, during the Second World War.

Where do occupational therapists work?

Occupational therapists can work in a variety of different settings including hospitals, community health centres, schools, at workplaces and in privately owned practices.

LiveBig occupational therapists are available to come to you at home, schools or in the community! The ability for our specialist allied health professionals to meet you in a variety of places means it’s easier and more comfortable for you to get the services you need, when you need them.

Is occupational therapy covered under the NDIS?

Yes. The NDIS funds a variety of therapy and allied health services for people living with disability, including occupational therapy.

Learn more on the NDIS website.

How does LiveBig provide occupational therapy services?

LiveBig provides occupational therapy and assessment services through the NDIS and privately if required. Click here to learn more about our process.

At LiveBig we’re about transparency and responsiveness. We work with you to achieve your individual goals within your NDIS plan, whether that’s through occupational therapy or any of our other therapy and assessment services.

LiveBig FAQs

Who is LiveBig?

LiveBig is a specialist allied health and assessment services provider for people with disability, including those on an NDIS plan. Our goal is to provide people with the highest quality specialist allied health services while simplifying the process of accessing them at home and in the community.

What services does LiveBig offer?

We provide person-centred specialised allied health services to people of all ages with disability across Australia. We work in partnership with our clients, their families and careers to achieve their therapy goals. Our specialties include:

  • psychology,
  • occupational therapy,
  • exercise physiology,
  • speech pathology, and
  • physiotherapy.

If you are preparing to meet with the NDIA Planner to get your first NDIS plan or plan review, we can provide assessments and documentation for you to take to this meeting as proof you need funding to support your therapy.

We can also provide tailored training for people supporting our clients in the implementation of their support plans, such as mealtime management plan and manual handling plan. We don’t just leave our client and their support network after their plan ends, we offer follow up consultations and support with the implementation of their support plan written by our consultants.

What is the NDIS?

National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) is an Australian Government scheme that funds reasonable and necessary supports for people with disability. Find out more about the NDIS.

What NDIS categories are LiveBig registered for?

LiveBig is registered for the following NDIS categories:

  • Improved daily living skills
  • Improved health and wellbeing

I am not currently on an NDIS plan, am I eligible to become a participant?

To become part of the NDIS, you need to meet specific criteria. You must be under 65 years of age, be an Australian citizen or have a Permanent or Special Category Visa and have a permanent and significant disability.

I am new to the NDIS process and am not sure where to start, what do I do?

If you fit the criteria to become an NDIS participant, the next step is to call NDIS on 1800 800 110 and ask for an Access Request or visit an NDIS office or NDIS partner office near you. After applying, you will need to prepare for and attend an NDIS planning meeting. LiveBig can help with this by conducting assessments and providing supporting documentation. Fee structure can be provided upon request. After your meeting, a Local Area Coordinator (LAC) or NDIA planner will contact you to advise the next steps and confirm how long it will take for you to receive your approved plan.

Can I still use LiveBig’s services if I don’t have an NDIS plan?

Yes, we provide our services to people of all ages with disability, with or without an NDIS plan.

How do I know what I have been charged for LiveBig services?

If you have NDIA managed funding, you can view our charges through the myplace portal.  If you have plan managed funding, we can provide you with an invoice or your plan manager can provide you with a summary of charges. If you self-manage your funds, we will issue you with a weekly invoice for services we have delivered in the specified period. 

How can LiveBig help with a planning meeting?

If you are preparing for an NDIS planning meeting, you may need to get an assessment of your disability and provide evidence. We offer a range of assessments for psychology, occupational therapy, exercise physiology, speech pathology and physiotherapy. Please contact us for fee structure on these services.

When I have signed up for an assessment or service, how is this provided?

Assessments and services are performed at your home or in a community venue, whatever suits you best. Charge for travel time of up to 30 minutes is as per the NDIS Price Guide. If you require an appointment on a day that our therapist doesn’t travel to other clients, travel may incur an additional charge of up to 30 minutes for the return trip. If you have ongoing services with LiveBig, we ensure that we regularly check in and that you are happy with your service and achieving your goals.

How can I refer a client or family member to LiveBig?

To make a referral, please call 1300 390 222 or submit an enquiry online. A member of our team will contact you within 24 hours of receiving your enquiry (or the next business day). From there, we will send through a service agreement for approval and request consent. Once this is approved and you have provided appropriate consent, we match our new client with one of our allied health specialists and services commence.

What is your usual wait time?

If we provide services in your area, our wait time from initial enquiry to service provision is a minimum of four weeks, which is significantly shorter than many other NDIS service providers.

What geographical areas does LiveBig service?

We currently provide services face-to-face in the Sydney and Melbourne metropolitan areas and remotely through the RMReach telehealth platform Australia wide. We will provide in-person services nationally from mid-to-late 2020. To check if we service your area, 1300 390 222 or submit an enquiry online.

I’m not happy with my current NDIS provider, can I switch?

Yes. The great thing about being an NDIS participant is that you are in control and have the flexibility to change service providers at any time. Please check your current provider’s terms and conditions before getting in touch with us.

If you would like to find out more about how LiveBig can help you, please call 1300 390 222 or submit an enquiry online.

The benefits of physiotherapy

What is physiotherapy?

Physiotherapy addresses problems in the body with pain and/or movement. Physiotherapy is a science-based profession that uses evidence and clinical reasoning to optimise a person’s overall health and wellbeing. Physiotherapy uses a range of physical techniques to improve the body’s movement and quality-of-movement. The goal is to impact on a client’s quality of life.

LiveBig offers a range of flexible, NDIS funded physiotherapy support tailored to individual client needs and preferences.

What is a physiotherapist?

Physiotherapists help people of all ages affected by disability, illness or injury. This is achieved through a comprehensive assessment of an individual client; reaching a diagnosis which will then guide intervention. This can include using multiple tools such as mobilisation, exercises, bracing/taping and/or advice.

Physiotherapists not only consider the physical movement exercises their clients undertake, but the whole person at every stage of diagnosis and treatment. At the core of the ‘whole person’ approach is the patient’s involvement in their own care. The client gains the most benefits from physiotherapy through awareness, empowerment and participation in their treatment.

Is physiotherapy covered under the NDIS?

Yes. The NDIS funds a variety of therapy and allied health services for people living with disability, including physiotherapy.

Learn more on the NDIS website.

What does a physiotherapist do?

A physiotherapist provides education, advice and treatment for physical injuries and rehabilitation. Physiotherapists take into consideration everything about their client’s life, including lifestyle factors, to get the best possible outcomes in recovery.

A physiotherapist will mobilise joints, stretch muscles, release trigger points and provide clients with a self-management program.

What does physiotherapy help with?

A physiotherapist can help reduce the chance of future injury and treat ailments such as:

  • Sprains, strains, various injuries and recovery from broken bones
  • Post-surgery rehabilitation
  • Arthritis
  • Neck and headache.
  • Spinal pain.
  • Upper-limb (Shoulder, elbow, wrist & hand) conditions.
  • Lower-limb (Hip, knee, ankle & foot) conditions.
  • Developmental delays in children
  • Neurological conditions such as stroke and Parkinson’s disease.

Why do people get physiotherapy?

Physiotherapy can benefit people of any age who suffer from a variety of disabilities or injuries. From neurological disorders to sports injuries and car accidents, physiotherapy empowers people to strengthen their body and achieve their personal health goals through movement.

Clients with disability

At LiveBig, we have physiotherapists that work with people with a range of disabilities, including neurological disorders like stroke, Parkinson’s disease, cerebral palsy and multiple sclerosis. These clients greatly benefit from physiotherapy treatment.

Physiotherapy interventions for neurological disorders focus on muscle control, regaining strength and defining fine and gross motor skills to improve daily functions. Physiotherapists generally visit and treat people with chronic health conditions in their homes.

Physiotherapy is particularly essential for children with cerebral palsy. Physiotherapy helps to improve postural control and teach children how to use assistive devices to maximise their functional independence. At LiveBig, an important part of our work is working with the family to reinforce our physiotherapists’ work with their child.

Injured clients

Orthopaedic clients, including people with sports injuries or those involved in car accidents, are the most common types of patients physiotherapists treat.

Normally in a clinical practice, physiotherapy treatment may involve therapeutic exercises to improve strength and endurance and enhance the client’s range of motion. Physiotherapists will likely treat these clients by mobilising joints, applying arrange of soft-tissue techniques and stretching any trigger points caused by the injury. The physiotherapist will also give the client exercises to do at home between treatments. Over time, this process should reduce stiffness and relieve pain for the client.

Working with your NDIS plan

LiveBig work with you to achieve your individual goals within your NDIS plan. We’re about transparency and responsiveness. When you contact us, we will let you know when we can be there for you.

What are therapy and assessment services?

What are therapy services?

Therapy services are sessions conducted by health care professionals that assist people in the management of their disability, or recovery from injury or illness.

Types of therapy that LiveBig offer include occupational therapy, speech pathology, exercise physiology, physiotherapy and psychology.

How do I enquire about a therapy service with LiveBig?

To enquire about a therapy service, you can find details in our service finder tool. Simply enter your postcode to check we currently have a therapist able to service in that area. You can then choose to contact us to get started.

What are assessment services?

Assessment services are conducted by a healthcare professional to establish what sorts of therapy services a person may require. If you’re not currently on an NDIS plan, are about to have a plan review or your condition has changed, you may need to book in an assessment before you can access therapy services through the NDIS.

You can book in a LiveBig specialist who will do an assessment of your needs. We want everyone to be able to get the support they need.

How do assessments work?

Our assessments are comprehensive and work to discover what level of therapy our clients require.

Once we receive a referral, one of our qualified specialists will visit your home to help determine the level of support you require. We can then tell you what support our specialists can provide you.

Did you know?

LiveBig healthcare specialists will come to you at home or in another community setting to conduct both assessments and therapy services.

What’s the difference between therapy services and assessment services?

Assessment services are used to establish which therapy services someone could benefit from. Therapy services are the planned, ongoing appointments to support you or your family member with a disability live the best life possible.

What sort of therapy and assessment services do LiveBig offer?

Our health specialists such as occupational therapists, speech pathologists, exercise physiologists, physiotherapists and psychologist work with each client to achieve their individual goals. Find out more about each specialty on our services page.

The benefits of speech pathology

What is speech pathology?

Speech pathology helps people who have communication and swallowing difficulties. Speech pathology uses a range of techniques to improve a person’s ability to communicate with family and friends, participate in social, academic and workplace settings and be able to enjoy mealtimes if they find this difficult.

LiveBig offers a range of flexible, NDIS funded speech pathology support tailored to our individual clients’ needs.

What does a speech pathologist do?

Speech pathologists diagnose and treat people having trouble communicating their needs, helping them express themselves and be understood. This can be through improving the quality and sound of their words, using hand and body gestures or other forms of assisted communication including picture cards or visual cues.

Speech pathologists also help people who have trouble swallowing food and drink through monitoring food consistency, developing different oral movements of the lips and tongue and using eating and drinking modification devices.

Speech pathologists work with children and adults and help them with their personal communication goals to participate in life and in their relationships.

LiveBig speech pathologists spend a lot of time face to face with clients and are passionate about making a difference for people with disabilities both within the NDIS and privately. They often work alongside other professionals in the allied health industry including occupational therapists, psychologists and physiotherapists.

Did you know?

Speech pathologists are often referred to as “speechies” in the health industry.

What does speech pathology help with?

Speech pathology assists people who are having problems with:

  • Voice
  • Speech (including stuttering)
  • Reading and writing
  • Understanding and using language
  • Difficulty eating, drinking and swallowing

Why do people get speech pathology therapy services?

Speech pathology therapy services can help people achieve their personal communication goals associated with:

  • disabilities (like cerebral palsy, learning disabilities, intellectual disabilities and developmental delays)
  • diseases (like dementia and stroke)
  • injuries (like brain injuries)
  • and hearing loss

Did you know?

Speech pathology can also assist professional voice users (e.g. teachers and singers) with their vocal tone and range.

Where do speech pathologists work?

Speech pathologists can work in a variety of different settings. These can include schools, hospitals, community health centres and in privately owned practices. LiveBig speech pathologists come to you! They visit their clients at home and in community settings. This has many benefits including helping people feel comfortable in their home environment. It’s also helpful for the speech pathologist who may need to monitor a client at mealtimes who has difficulty eating or swallowing.

Is speech pathology covered under the NDIS?

Yes. The NDIS funds a variety of therapy and allied health services for people living with disability, including speech pathology.

Learn more on the NDIS website.

How does LiveBig provide speech pathology services?

LiveBig provides speech pathology services through the NDIS and privately if required. Click here to learn more about our process.

At LiveBig we’re about transparency and responsiveness. We work with you to achieve your individual goals within your NDIS plan, whether that includes speech pathology or other therapy and assessment services. When you contact us, we will let you know when we can be there for you.

Make an enquiry