How NDIS and School Aged Services are Meeting Needs

Edward-William-and-Oliver


For this family with three boys, William, Oliver and Edward – home and school life is now running much more smoothly.

Mum Natalie writes:

“Having three gorgeous children on the spectrum, we spend a lot of our time accessing services! The NDIS has meant our youngest children have had continuous access to the Autism Association’s early intervention and school age services.”

Natalie also relates how, prior to the NDIS trials in WA, William had turned seven and State and federal funding had dried up. School age services entailed a lengthy waitlist and few other appropriate services were available. Early intervention for the younger children meant driving from their Eastern suburb’s home to the Association’s centre in Jolimont—time consuming across the busy days. Fortunately, the passage of time has brought positive change. All three boys are now at the Swan Valley Anglican Community School and help is always on hand from the Association’s nearby Midland Centre, which opened in 2015. For William, who moves into high school next year, the changes are proving to be especially beneficial:

“Having the NDIS has meant that he now has the ongoing support he needs to function and achieve academically and socially in a mainstream environment. As a family the NDIS has made a huge difference in our lives because the services we choose to access have expanded and are available locally. No more driving an hour each way to attend therapy and we are now much more likely to meet other families in our area. It has increased our sense of community and our boys’ ability to make and maintain friendships.”

All three boys are being guided in the ways of friendship. Oliver and Edward attend The Explorers—an Autism Association Social Thinking Skills group, which is conveniently run after school, at the Swan Valley school. In an innovative way they are introduced to Theory of Mind—the ability to see another person’s perspective. Natalie spoke of the value of the group, how it has also given her a language to reinforce the ideas.

For William, the anxiety of moving up to high school is being allayed through the school Triad Group—guidance for three students (introducing new faces within the threesome) who will be making the move. They make frequent visits to the upper school. Oliver and Edward are also making advances with 1:1 coaching provided by the Association’s School Aged Services. Out of class, they are learning ways of managing their emotions as well as making advances with literacy and understanding and recounting what they have read.

“There are three lots of goals to think about” Natalie said, and the overall support is “invaluable”.

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