The Autism Ribbon Fund Raiser at TAL
In Australia, any therapy for treatment of autism that has been referred by a medical doctor is allowed to be claimed as a tax deduction.
In 2013, if your total net medical expenses exceeded $2,120 (or $5,000) then you are allowed to claim back a certain percentage, depending on your ATI (Adjustable Tax Income).
The allowable deduction is mainly for the provision of services.
Medical expenses include payments:
- to dentists, orthodontists or registered dental mechanics
- to opticians or optometrists, including for the cost of prescription spectacles or contact lenses
- to a carer who looks after a person who is blind or permanently confined to a bed or wheelchair
- for therapeutic treatment under the direction of a doctor
- for medical aids prescribed by a doctor
- for artificial limbs or eyes and hearing aids
- for maintaining a properly trained dog for guiding or assisting people with a disability (but not for social therapy)
- for laser eye surgery, and
- for treatment under an in-vitro fertilisation program.
In my tax return, I have asked all my therapists that have been referred to by a medical doctor for treatment of my son, to supply me with a statement showing gross payments less rebates to give me my net expense for therapy.
I did not included any purchase of equipment or books or technology etc that is not specifically referred to by a medical doctor.
For my next years tax return, I’ve realised that I need to inform the therapists in advance that a statement will need to be provided, and also to disclose on the statement who was the referring medical doctor.
1. Avoid potties! Start out with the end in mind. Children with autism have trouble generalising and the last thing you want is to have to carry their pottie around with you everywhere you go!
2. Visuals are very important. Make up some visuals to help the child understand the toileting process and to provide a prompt.
3. Prepare lots of FUN activities to do with the child. Making going to the toilet fun takes the pressure off and makes it a motivating place to go.
4. Rewards are one of the most important elements of toilet training – children need a motivator as it is just too easy to continue to go in their nappy. Rewards need to be instant and powerful. Reward IMMEDIATELY and reward the same every time.
5. Base yourself in or right next to the toilet for the first few days of toilet training. Have as many home comforts in the room for the child to make it a fun environment.
6. Remove nappies. Once you start toilet training do not let the child put on any form of nappy until they go to bed at night. If you let them wear them during the day at all they will learn to hold on until they are in their nappy.
7. Toilet time – put the child on the toilet every 30 minutes for 10 minutes at a time, increasing time as they get the hang of it.
8. Teach the child the whole steps of toileting – including putting on underpants, flushing the toilet and washing hands.
9. Some children may have sensory sensitivities related to toileting. Sensory sensitivities need to be respected and worked on.
10. Create good routines around toilet timing. Have set times when the child must go to the toilet.