Boondall man Andrew Thorpe is no stranger to hard work, having plied his trade in the Endeavour Foundation warehouse at Wacol for over 30 years.
This year, with support from the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS), Andrew, who has autism, is learning to read and write for the first time. Andrew applied for the NDIS in 2018, with the goal of learning to read and write and building his communication and independent living skills.
He now uses his NDIS funding to access one-on-one reading and writing support through ‘A Place to Belong’ in West End.
Andrew has been learning to recognise letters and numbers for a few months.
“I would like to read newspapers and magazines one day,” said Andrew.
His teachers use characters and scenes from his favourite TV show Home and Away to help him memorize words and phrases.
“With the NDIS, we have been able to continue Andrew’s participation at Endeavour but add on some one-on-one support with reading and writing on other days. He really likes it and is making steady progress. Andrew likes the team a lot and they like Andrew, they say he is a good student and a cool dude,” said Andrew’s dad Jim.
“He is a busy guy five days a week. With the NDIS, he has the chance to read and write for the first time.”
Andrew also attends a learning and leisure centre three days a week, where he takes on a variety of social and recreational pursuits.
“The other thing Andrew likes to do is bowling. He has been bowling for well over 25 years. He once scored 7 strikes in a row,” said Jim.
Andrew’s mother Janice said she had seen her son take significant strides with the NDIS.
“He has a very full, happy life and he does it really well. He never complains and does it all, no problems,” she said.
“With Andrew attending the Impari Learning and Leisure Centre, it’s something different each day, futsal, going to the movies, sailing. The biggest thing is about getting sustained involvement from Andrew and we have got it. Andrew doesn’t give out to much generally but he is now volunteering more and more with his speaking.”
Despite his busy schedule, family man Andrew still finds the time to see his five nieces and four nephews, as well as his three sisters.
Janice says the arrival of the NDIS in Brisbane has given the family confidence for the future.
“We have done our best, and now the NDIS is helping us afford a lot of extra activities.
“We are hoping to get some one-on-one support with using a phone and some speech therapy. We are getting older, if Jan or I get sick or have an accident, then Andrew will be able to ring an ambulance. Eventually, we hope Andrew’s survival skills in society will enable him to live independently.”
“The NDIS is such a welcome godsend, and we are so happy about it.”
Andrew is supported on his journey by Carers Queensland, NDIS Local Area Coordination Partner in the Community for the Brisbane region.
For more information about the NDIS or how to access it, please contact Carers Queensland on 1300 999 636, or email@example.com