Stan and Georgie Kazako are hoping for more time together as a family since accessing the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) for their son.
Dean Kazako, who is 12 years old and has Autism, has limited communication skills and his sensitivity to stimuli has meant getting out and about which has been difficult for the family.
“At the moment my wife does a lot of stuff with my daughter and I do stuff with Dean because family outings together where we catch up with family and friends have been socially challenging for Dean,” Stan explained.
Through NDIS support and with the help of Carers Queensland’s Local Area Coordination Partner in the Community program on the Sunshine Coast, Stan and Georgie will be able to connect with the professional services Dean needs and find opportunities for Dean to connect in the community.
“Dean hasn’t had any speech therapy since he was three years old and he’s almost thirteen. He is showing us he wants to say something, he’s watching our lips,” Stan said. “With speech therapy, maybe he can start forming those words, or we can look at alternative methods to communicate.”
“He is also starting to show signs that he’s ready to interact socially. With some professional help, Dean will be able to do that and maybe become less dependent on us when it comes to the social side of things.”
For Dean’s parents, the NDIS means they can look forward to doing what other families do.
“The NDIS has allowed us to access the services that are vital for Dean’s development that we were otherwise unable to. I think it has also allowed us to progress as a family unit,” Stan said.
“If we can get some basic communication – if Dean can tell us if he’s got a sore tooth, or a sore tummy – that will really make a difference and it’ll help with Dean’s confidence. I think it’s going to change things exponentially.”
Stan knows how overwhelming being the parent of a child with disability can be at times, and he knows that getting some help with the NDIS can make all the difference.
“The advice I’d give to other parents is get stuck into it. It’s been really helpful for us.”
Carers Queensland is the Local Area Coordination Partner in the Community on the Sunshine Coast, providing free support to people and families accessing and using the NDIS.