A love of shopping centres has prompted Aidan Bates to find work at his local supermarket, with the help of National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) supports.
The 18-year-old from Victoria Point is completing work experience at Coles for a few hours a week, after receiving School Leaver Employment Supports (SLES) from a service provider to find suitable work when Aidan finished year 12 in 2019.
Dad Tony, said Aidan, who has autism and an intellectual disability, began work at the end of November, attending with a support worker to assist him to do his job.
“He has been tasked with placing products on the shelves and facing the labels the right way; and he has been doing that well and fairly quickly so they will start getting him to do even more,” he said.
“Aiden’s also been using the compactor for the cardboard boxes, which he really likes to do too.”
School Leaver Employment Supports (SLES) is an early intervention approach for Year 12 school leavers to support their transition from school to employment and aims to help build a participant’s confidence and skills.
Tony said this support has been important for Aidan to help him achieve his employment goals.
“We wouldn’t have known what to do getting a local job, so our service provider went searching for places,” he said.
“While Aidan did some work experience at school, these workplaces couldn’t offer work, so SLES helped out.”
Aidan’s goal is to keep improving in his role and to eventually securing more hours in the near future.
When Aidan isn’t working, he is supported to take part in bowling, going to the library, playing music and learning to cook.
“He likes making cakes at home and making biscuits with mum,” he said.
“He likes going there (support organisation) to get out of the house, and a lot of kids from his old school go there so he knows them, but he’d rather go to work at Coles.”
Aidan also uses his support worker to go shopping, watch movies and getting to work.
The teenager also keeps busy working on his collages and playing sport with the Special Olympics.
“Aidan has always liked shopping centres; he gets on the computer and looks at all the stores around Carindale, down to Robina, and can tell you what stores are there and who’s moved in, and he prints them out and makes collages of stores and laminates them,” Tony said.
“Aidan has fairly good hand-eye coordination so he plays in the Special Olympics teams, Saturday morning basketball and Thursday evening tennis. He likes getting to socialise with his friends and play.”
Aidan received assistance to apply for and implement his NDIS funding from Carers Queensland’s NDIS Local Area Coordination Partner in the Community Program for the Brisbane region.
While this year was initially challenging for Aidan, Tony said everything is now falling into place.
“This year was a slow year with COVID restrictions, but now he seems to be settled in; his week is fairly full now, so he’s happy.”
Carers Queensland can support you to find out more about the NDIS, to apply for funding and to help you get started with the NDIS.
If you have a disability but are not eligible for the NDIS, Carers Queensland can help you identify and link to options for support in your community.
You can also contact Carers Queensland on 1300 999 636, or firstname.lastname@example.org