With the help of funding from the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS), Emily (10 years old), is developing her social skills and participating more in her community.
Emily, from Grange, has autism and neurofibromatosis-1 (NF-1), and attends a range of social and physical therapies which have increased her confidence and her skills.
Like many children her age, Emily has a passion for dance and art.
With funding from the NDIS, Emily attends an inclusive ballet class for children with disabilities, as well as art therapy, occupational therapy and physiotherapy.
Emily’s mother Kellie says she has seen her daughter take huge strides in recent months.
“We started looking at the NDIS when it opened in Queensland. The goals for Emily were around developing her social skills and being able to participate in the community. We have been doing a lot of work on how she interacts with people. Now she has built the skills to let her interact with others which is great.”
Progress in her physical therapies has also enabled Emily to better connect with her peers in the school yard.
“As part of her NF-1 she has weak core strength and weak hands. Through OT she is learning to do things like open the doors at home and use a key in a lock. These things make life better for her and allow her to keep up with and be more included in the social group and the activities at school.
“She has just got enough skills now to take a handball to school to play with the other kids. She never would have done that on her own before,” said Kellie.
Emily’s improving physical abilities saw her become the unlikely hero after a medical emergency in the family home recently.
“Emily was home when my son had his first ever seizure,” said Kellie.
“Despite me being a doctor I just went, ‘Oh my God!’”
Kellie said she could never have guessed that Emily was capable of doing what she did next.
“I said to her ‘I need you to get a phone and ring your dad’. Then I said ‘Please grab my keys and go down stairs and unlock the door so the ambulance can get in’.
“The ambulance came in and Emily said ‘Okay mummy I unlocked the gate, I brought them up and showed them where to go’. She had even managed to get the dogs restrained in a room. Later on she was still looking after everything. She said to me ‘mummy you know you knocked the water over before, don’t worry I have been in and cleaned it up mummy you don’t need to worry about it’.
“I was just so incredibly proud of what she had done, particularly in that high pressure situation. She would never have been able to use the key or open the door before. She could now see how it worked and had the skills to do it. That would never have been possible before.”
Kellie said the ordeal reaffirmed that Emily’s hard work in her therapies was paying off.
“She has just made such great leaps forward this year. It has been great. The NDIS has allowed me to look at what Emily actually needed, what is out there, and what she could benefit from.”
Emily is supported on her NDIS journey by Carers Queensland, NDIS Partner in the Community 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 also help you identify and link to options for support in your community.
To find out more about how the NDIS and Local Area Coordination program can work for you, visit Carers Queensland NDIS Local Area Coordination Partner in the Community Program for the Brisbane Region at 120 Chalk Street, Lutwyche 4030.
You can also contact Carers Queensland on 1300 999 636, or email@example.com