Greg and Sandra came to The Disability Trust as a family in 2015, scared of what the future held for their son Tom, who has high support autism, an intellectual disability, bipolar and is non-verbal.
Tom also suffers from absent and grand mal seizures and up until that point the family had very little support during Tom’s life.
Due to his autism, Tom became very withdrawn and his aggression became difficult and very unpredictable.
“When Tom began he started with two hours of support a morning, three days a week at The Disability Trust respite facility, however he still spent a lot of time by himself,” Sandra said.
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“Things were kept very routine for Tom. I would park the car at the front door of the house, so Tom could run straight into a room and shut the door. Tom would then bring himself out of the room to listen to music which played all the time. He then began to let staff sit and listen with him, then go for a walk outside with staff.
“Tom’s hours increased and so did the days and after a few months, a sleepover was introduced as well as swimming at Neate’s Swim School. We started to hear Tom say single words and he is now smiling and a very happy person. Tom now averages about 30 hours a week with staff support.
“After 12 months Tom has taken huge steps forward and he has now moved into his own house.
“Tom and his carers now stop at the corner shop and buy a drink, then walk to The Trust’s day program, where he plays with balls and greets staff with a high five.
“We as a family are amazed at what Tom and the carers at The Disability Trust have been able to achieve. They have let Tom know it is okay for him to be himself and adapted to suit Tom’s world, instead of Tom having to adapt to everyday life to suit everybody else, while helping to make his day better.
“Tom has been treated as an individual, his future looks wonderful and we now see him being able to live as a very happy young man.
“Thank you to all the staff at The Disability Trust, you are amazing, caring people who have never said no, or made us feel that Tom’s needs are too hard to deal with, you are all the best!”