Eli is 16 years old and lives with no working memory, meaning he has trouble holding on to information. He has flooded the bathroom and nearly burned down the family kitchen. And now he is well on the way to achieving some big dreams.
On his birthday this year Eli got his ‘Ls’. It took a great deal of perseverance, with the help of service providers My Healthy Mind, who worked hard to help prepare Eli for his written test.
Mum Paula Messow beams at the thought of her son now having notched up 30 hours of driving busy Gold Coast roads in preparation for his ‘Ps’.
And in preparation for his next goal – a motorbike licence.
With difficulties organising and completing a task, this milestone is a big one. It is the pathway to Eli’s dream of owning a silver Ducati Scrambler Cafe Racer.
“He has researched online absolutely everything about owning a motorbike. He’s big on research,” says Paula.
Eli was diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), experiencing anxiety, depression, and no working memory, when he was eight years old.
Paula had noticed Eli was never hitting milestones at the appropriate age, he had trouble learning, was having meltdowns and was very hard to coax to go to school.
As the years progressed Paula faced an uphill battle finding supports and services for Eli.
“It seemed that in the seven to 17 years age bracket you very much got the feeling it was totally a parental responsibility,” says Paula.
She says that lack of support is a direct road to “serious burn out”.
So, what did Paula do? She threw herself into finding a solution and started a business as a provider of disability services.
A year ago Paula opened her second business, Establishing Care, with a special focus on accessing and providing supports to seven to 17 year olds living in the Northern New South Wales and South East Queensland regions.
Paula’s first client, her son Eli, is reaping the rewards.
He does weekly hydrotherapy to help build muscle, works regularly with an occupational therapist to improve memory, and is in a School Leaver Supports (SLES) program moving towards his goal of picking up a traineeship in computer coding.
And not to forget, right on target, Eli reached a major milestone sought after by most teenagers when he turned 16 earlier this year. That was one happy birthday for Eli.
You can learn more about Establish care by visiting their website.