Gaining confidence and support for the future

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After a struggling start, finding the right support made all the difference for Dylan and his family, helping to overcome his challenges and build independence and confidence.

For Dylan and his grandparents, finding a provider that was able to both recognise what he needed help with and help him overcome any issues, was essential.

Born three months early, Dylan lives with mild cerebral palsy and an acquired brain injury.

Dylan was placed with his grandparents when he was eight months old, because both his parents also live with disability and were unable to look after him.

Despite this, Dylan had constant contact with his parents while growing up, and eleven years ago, he reconnected with his sisters.

Dylan’s grandmother Beverly explains that she had to fight for Dylan throughout his time at school.

“With education, Dylan had a terrible time, and we ended up needing to home school him to support him.”

Despite his struggles with education, Dylan had a bright spark, sport.

Dylan is a sporty person who has enjoyed many successes, even though, with his acquired brain injury and mild cerebral palsy, some fine motor skills are hard for him.

“He has a black belt in Taekwondo. He has also been involved in quite a few clubs who have been very understanding. He has won a lot of gold medals for his sporting achievements.”

The struggle of finding support

Growing up, Dylan received support from Novita, but he ‘aged’ out of their support services when he turned 18.

This is when the struggle to fund support for Dylan began.

“We were contacted by someone from the NDIS [National Disability Insurance Scheme] so that Dylan could get it,” Beverly explains.

“We got funds, and then we were told that you look on the portal and you find a group who can cater for his needs.

“There were 80 pages, and I didn’t know who to go to or what to do,” she continues.

“Half the year had passed and nothing much had been used from his funding. Someone from the NDIS contacted us and said ‘you’ve still got a lot of money left’.”

Finding disability service provider Spry Support Services was a turning point for Beverly and Dylan.

Gaining confidence

Spry supports children and adults with sensory, intellectual, neurological, physical and psychiatric disabilities.

Beverly says that when she first contacted Spry, they made sure to find out what Dylan needed.

“They were very prompt, they came down and sat and talked to us about Dylan’s problems, [they also] talked with Dylan, and then they worked out the sort of things that he seemed to need help with.”

Over the last two to three years Dylan has benefited from the support offered by Spry. Their services meant he could access support while attending a TAFE course by providing someone to go with him and help with taking notes, as his cerebral palsy means that he is unable to himself.

Dylan now works in horticulture and Spry has organised for Dylan to be dropped off to and picked up from work.

“He has gained that independence and confidence now to go by himself,” Beverly says.

Spry has also provided Dylan with a mentor who comes and spends Wednesday afternoons with him.

“Dylan’s gotten very involved in lawn bowls, and the poor mentor has to do that, but he’s pretty good-natured about it,” Beverly adds.

Dylan’s mentor is only five years older than Dylan, and they get on quite well, she says.

“He takes him to coffee mornings, to the library, they go hiking, they do a variety of things. Spry has been able to relieve the pressure on us.”

Spry Support Services is a South Australian based company that has been providing people with disability support for over 12 years.

Spry offers a range of services to improve general quality of life and assist with daily living requirements.

These services include Supported Independent Living (SIL), Community Participation, Daily Living and Life Skills, Accommodation Services, Therapeutic Support and Respite Care.

For more information, visit their website.