Like most 9 year olds, Deacon Ayres is energetic and bubbly and loves playing outdoors and watching his favourite TV shows. In 2008, Deacon was diagnosed with cerebral palsy, anxiety and autism and has been accessing services at Ability Centre ever since.
After a lengthy struggle trying to balance caring for three boys who have autism, the WA NDIS trial could not have come at a better time for mum, Lisa
“To our immense good fortune, the Cockburn and Kwinana areas were one of the first trial sites for the WA NDIS in Western Australia. As residents of Yangebup we were very excited to be part of the trial because it will give our son more opportunities to achieve his goals in life”
After learning they had been accepted into the trial, Deacon’s family contacted the local WA NDIS coordinator to get started on the planning phase.
“Our NDIS Coordinator was an absolute stand out. She thoroughly guided us through all the planning documents. She helped us identify the areas of support that Deacon would need to access”, explains mum Lisa. “She also maintained close contact to help us put the first part of the plan into action.”
The next phase of the planning was meeting with the NDIS engagement team at Ability Centre and who were very helpful in submitting and actioning Deacon’s plan. The team provided guidance and support once the plan progress and are available for any queries or change requests that we may encounter along the way
“The whole process was extremely positive and centred on Deacon’s needs. With the help of the NDIS Coordinator and Ability Centre, we were able to predict what Deacon’s needs would be for the next 12 months” added Lisa
When asked what advice she would give to others in the WA NDIS trial, Lisa said “It’s all about being prepared when you attend your first planning meeting, if you have all that covered, then things should run smoothly. Take time to think about what you would like to happen in the next 12 months and the support you will need to achieve those goals.”
“There’s no need to stress because if circumstances change, you can contact your NDIS coordinator to make the necessary alterations. I’m just glad that when Deacon is old enough to decide what he wants to pursue as a career, changes can be made with starting all over again”
With his plan in place, Deacon now has new opportunities and supports to achieve things that might not have been possible under previous funding arrangements. The increased therapy time and one- on- one support has improved his writing skills and reduced his anxiety significantly.
The future looks very bright for Deacon. With the help of the NDIS and Ability Centre his disability support is taken care of and he can now focus solely on achieving his life goals (and having fun!)