Andy is learning important life skills to gain enough independence to eventually live on his own with the assistance of National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) supports.
The 18-year-old from Sunnybank Hills – who has autism – has support workers come to his home to teach him how to maintain a house and to cook simple meals.
Andy’s mum, Van, said he used to be afraid of potentially hurting himself cooking, but now his support worker shows him how to prepare a meal in his Thermomix, using the guided cooking on screen.
“My family and I are Vietnamese but my kids prefer western food over Vietnamese cuisine … so May (support worker) is teaching him how to prepare and cook a simple meal most Fridays,” Van said.
“I have tried for years to get him to cook; a friend suggested using a Thermomix since it is safe and efficient and it is the best investment I have ever made.”
Van said before Andy began to see his speech therapist, he had a limited diet of white rice and fries and would not eat anything else.
“I had even tried taking him to feeding clinics without success, but his speech therapist suggested for him to try one new food each week and he did,” she said.
“Today, he eats better than any of my family members. He listens to suggestions from his therapists (speech therapist, psychologist and occupational therapist); they have managed to ask him to do things I have been trying to get him to do for years.”
Andy also uses a support worker to help him catch public transport and access group activities.
“Prior to the NDIS, he would be too afraid to leave my side when we were out in public,” Van said.
“He also knows how to catch public transport but is too afraid to go on his own (as) he’s very afraid of meeting new people.
“But I have found he has matured this year and is much more adventurous and open to meeting new people and trying new things.
“Without the support and funding from NDIS, Andy would probably not be able to function in the real world.”
Andy is also currently getting support to learn new skills to find employment in the future.
“In the first year of the program, he will be taught skills like scanning, photocopying, printing, and checking documents for companies,” Van said.
“In the second year of the program, they will hire him two days a week with real working hours to help him integrate into the workforce, so he will experience what a nine-to-five job is like.
“The final year of the program, they will try to find him a placement in the real workforce and monitor his progress to make sure both employer and employee are happy and adjusting well before concluding their program.
“He now has a very high chance of finding employment in the near future and for that, we are very grateful.”
Andy 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.
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