This month, for My Plan Story, we talked to the mum of one of our cutest clients, Alex! Part of his recent NDIS journey has been a transition to school, and she let us know in her own words just how they prepared as a family, and how she was supported through it, plus she shares her tips for other parents who may be in a similar situation soon.
“Alex is 5 yrs old, and is a very bright and happy little guy. He is amazing with his numeracy and literacy skills already and he loves to learn and explore. He also loves sport! Football, soccer, basketball, tennis – he’s set up goals in our lounge room and crawls around throwing balls and pretending he’s a footy or soccer player (running commentary included!!) It’s very cute and funny to watch.
Alex was diagnosed with Spastic Quadriplegia Cerebral Palsy when he was 7 months old, and we started receiving funding through the NDIS when he was 10 months old. At this time, and to this day, I am extremely grateful for the funding we have been able to receive through the NDIS for Alex’s therapy and equipment, as without this he wouldn’t have been able to achieve and continue to work towards the goals he has.
We then signed up with My Plan Manager in 2015, as being a single parent and caring for Alex full time I was finding it difficult to keep on top of and keep track of managing his NDIS plan. I am also and always will be extremely grateful to Claire and the fantastic team at My Plan Manager for all of the help and support they have given myself and Alex and all of the assistance in helping to manage Alex’s NDIS plan. This has not only allowed me extra time to focus on Alex and his needs, but also assisting me with budgeting and choosing the right supports for Alex’s needs. The team are always helpful, very friendly and willing to assist in any way they can.
Alex has started school this year, which he was very excited about. I was also excited for him, but at the same time also very nervous and anxious as any parent of a special needs child would be. Pre-planning for Alex’s needs at school was something I wanted to start as early as possible to ensure everything that could be in place was to allow a smooth transition into school for him and also help relieve some of my anxiety too! This would be my advice also for any parent of a special needs child starting school as some things may take a while to organise or put in place (eg – equipment and toileting needs, education plans, requests for allocation of SSO hours, etc). I also requested in Alex’s NDIS plan review the year prior to him starting school for extra funding for transition visits as these would be needed to ensure a smooth transition for him into school.
We did a number of transition visits to the school last year to assess what equipment Alex would need, toileting facilities, supports he would need throughout the day and access to other parts of the school. We then did one final visit the week before he started to make sure all was in place for him to start the following week. It did help immensely knowing that everything was in place for Alex at the school to cater for his needs, and all of the staff involved have been and always are so helpful and accommodating to anything that Alex requires.
Alex is really loving school, is settling in well and has made lots of new little friends Together with his teacher, SSO and therapists Alex is continuing to work towards his goals of becoming more independent with his mobility, self care and social interaction.
Happy school days!”