The way schools receive funding for their special education programs is set to change, following the announcement of a review and imminent overhaul in state parliament this week.
On Thursday, Minister for Education and Early Childhood Learning, Sarah Mitchell tabled a progress report to parliament, outlining the necessity of improving the delivery of disability education across the state.
As part of the review, Ms Mitchell told the parliament of intentions to see the Department of Education "undertake a review to explore more contemporary ways of funding students with disability".
The new method is set to take account of individual needs instead of relying solely on disability diagnoses.
In his capacity as the executive officer of the Riverina-based Regional Disability Advocacy Service, Martin Butcher approves of a holistic approach to disability care in schools.
But, he worries that a review of the funding stream alone might complicate the situation further, removing the focus from the delivery of effective services.
He said the potential for mandating specific school-based disability services may prove detrimental to the care of individual students.
"I know a lot of schools are moving towards having their own therapist, someone the parents haven't chosen to assist their child," Mr Butcher said.
"If the current environment allows for it, for example, a child who needs a speech therapist should be allowed to choose their own therapist to work with them in both the home and in the school.
"On the other side though, having 10 to 15 students in a classroom all with their own therapist is going to be disruptive."
A spokesperson for the NSW Department of Education confirmed that there are currently 2100 sutdents with disabilities receiving special support in Riverina public schools.
Of those students, up to a thousand attend in-house support classes, while 330 are at special needs schools, and 750 have received Integration Funding Support to remain in mainstream classrooms.
"Public schools value communication, and parents who would like to discuss support for their child's disabilities should do so with the school at which their child is enrolled or will enroll for pre-schoolers," the spokesperson said.
"Schools may assist directly or provide guidance for contact with school services staff. Parents can also approach school services staff directly. School services can seek additional support through the state office disabilities team."
In order to cut down on that disruption, and to cut the risk of parents 'diagnosis shopping' with their own therapists, Mr Butcher recognises the attractiveness of schools hiring an in-house service team.
Mr Butcher recognised that there is no specific evidence to suggest that 'diagnosis shopping' has been occurring in Riverina schools.
But he believes the rise of in-house care could also form the grounds to seeing a so-called 'cookie-cutter', or 'one-size fits all' approach to diagnoses and services in schools.
"I hope that any review of the services will make it more flexible," he said.
"The family needs to be able to access the therapy they need at school and at home and wherever they need it.
"The most important thing is that the student is comfortable with the service they are receiving and that it's consistent across every environment."