Our son was born with an intellectual disability and asperger’s and then later on in life he developed a mental illness.
Throughout our life journey we have experienced and discovered that parents of a disabled child often have to work hard to keep their families fed, clothed and kept together as one family unit.
Alongside often needing to pay for huge medical bills, tiredness creeps in. It can be a struggle just to get through each day. Yet more than anyone we needed innovation, creative support strategies and a positive outlook.
Until the last few years we worked alone. There was no family assistance or stimulating professional intervention. It was often a struggle, but we did our best and maintained our hope.
Then, for us, the tide changed. We received support from Te Rawhiti. They referred our son through to Pathways, with one very simple goal – to learn how to catch a bus.
Our son’s Pathways support worker started taking him out for three to four hour practical sessions. It took time and patience, but our son learned how to catch a bus. Being a painter, our son liked purchasing his paints from a shop in Newmarket. So, the next step was to learn how to catch a train so he could buy his paints.
Over the months our son developed the skills to complete these tasks on his own. But, what we didn’t foresee was the confidence he would obtain, developing a deeper understanding of how things worked and seeing his ability shine.
The simple training of public transport has spilled off into other areas of his life. People have commented about him “He looks so much more confident since we saw him last Christmas!”
We are very impressed with the professionalism of Pathways and their support workers. Our son has taken a BIG step forward in life and we are very thankful for their help.