April is World Autism Month, beginning with United Nations-sanctioned World Autism Awareness Day on April 2. Throughout the month, Therapy Care will be focusing on sharing stories and providing opportunities to increase understanding and acceptance of people with autism, fostering support in our wider community.
Our aim is to celebrate the diverse lives of individuals living with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).
This year’s theme is ‘inclusive quality education for all’ and focuses on addressing the disruption to education caused by COVID-19 and the disproportional impact it has had on individuals living on the autism spectrum.
Despite Therapy Care’s efforts to make all NDIS supports virtual, the pandemic’s interruptions to routines and support services caused many to feel further isolated in social and educational endeavours.
There are many exceptional people in our Therapy Care community living with ASD, three of whom have chosen to share their stories. Our hope is that through their stories, our wider community has a better understanding of ASD.
This year’s theme of ‘inclusive education for all’ is something Therapy Care participant Lachlan hopes to see continue to develop as he completes his final year of primary school and beyond. Lachlan has been working with Therapy Care since 2020 and during this time has worked with allied health and speech assistant Helen. Helen and Lachlan have built a trusting relationship. This relationship acts as a basis for Lachlan to explore different spaces and settings where he feels comfortable socially and inspired educationally.
“Lachlan is very bright and has excellent math skills. We are constantly amazed by his unique observations and questions due to his perspective and curious nature..
“Lachlan is sometimes hesitant when facing a new activity. However, with encouragement he will almost always successfully participate in the activity without any difficulty, amazing himself with the results,” says Helen.
Under the NDIS Lachlan currently receives occupational therapy, speech therapy, recreational therapy, and weekly one on one social support services. He’s also an eager attendee of Therapy Care’s school holiday program, which allows him to meet like-minded participants in a social and fun environment.
Lachlan’s current NDIS goals include:
✅ Improving numeracy and literacy skills
✅ Improving fine motor skills
✅ Increasing his ability to regulate emotions in order to interact with peers
✅ Increasing community involvement
✅ Increasing independence
Therapy Care is very proud of Lachlan’s achievements both within his sessions and in his day-to-day life.
Josh is one of Therapy Care’s outstanding participants who has been working with Therapy Care for the last two years. Under the NDIS he currently attends weekly exercise psychology sessions and will soon start receiving social support services. During the lockdown period, Josh began to struggle with anxiety due to increased isolation from his social settings. Through building relationships with his support workers, including Therapy Care support worker’s Jaslyn and Jai, Josh has been able to develop skills in order to overcome this and increase his ability to regulate his emotions.
“Josh’s social wellbeing has increased since coming to the gym. He has gained a lot of confidence by becoming more independent in following his workout routine. Josh’s mental wellbeing has also improved as a result of him attending his physical therapy sessions,” says Jaslyn.
“With his can-do attitude, Josh is a pleasure to train with. He is committed to his NDIS goals, and as a result, has increased his overall cardiovascular fitness and strength with the guidance of his trainers,” says Jai.
Josh’s current NDIS goals are:
✅ Become more social and be involved with the community more
✅ Increase his fitness
✅ Get involved in the workforce
✅ Gain more independence
Josh says, Therapy Care isn’t just a place to exercise, it’s a fun place! I am always disappointed if I have to miss a session for any reason.”
Josh’s parents also use Therapy Care as a reward basis in order to prompt positive behaviour.
Therapy Care participant Michael has achieved incredible goals during his time at Therapy Care. Under the NDIS, Michael currently receives occupational therapy, exercise physiology, and one-on-one social support. Michael is also a valued member of our group day program. Michael lives with his large family and is working on gaining independence through contributing to household chores. Currently, Michael and his support worker Kim have been assisting with weekly shopping during his one-on-one social sessions. Activities such as this create transferable skills including money handling and object finding, as well as building a greater understanding of nutrition. Outside of his family home, Michael has been working with Kim to increase his confidence in social settings.
“Michael sometimes requires encouragement to talk in front of people as he can struggle to get out what he’s feeling at times, particularly with new people. However, once you get to know him he will talk to you about everything.
“He loves being around his friends at Therapy Care and cares deeply for them. He has formed a great friendship with Rochelle,” says Kim.
Michael has also been developing writing skills in order to communicate his emotions.
“Currently, Michael is writing a diary of what he is up to and learning to put sentences together and read it back to his occupational therapist & support worker.” explains Kim
Michael’s current NDIS goals include:
✅ Increasing fitness levels
✅ Increasing confidence in social situations
✅ Increasing his ability to write in sentences
The achievements of Lachlan, Josh and Micahel during their time at Therapy Care highlight the importance of receiving adequate and holistic NDIS support. If you or someone you know is living with ASD and would like to find out more about Therapy Care’s NDIS support services, please get in touch with us at: