Like many children Ethan received significant Early Childhood Early Intervention support (ECEI) until age 7. Early intervention provides young children with the tools and skills needed to improve their speech, social skills and sensory processing.
Ethan was making progress in these areas, but this progress started to slow as he transitioned from comprehensive ECEI to a plan with the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) which had a smaller budget.
It was now up to Ethan’s mum Vickie to manage her son’s therapies and developmental goals.
A plan to advocate for Ethan
“This was the first time I had done this. I needed to build my confidence so I could advocate for my son” said Vickie. “CHESS Connect helped me to create a visual chart of the people involved in supporting Ethan reach his goals. This broader understanding of how his plan worked gave me the ability to coordinate his supports myself and helped me escalate my concerns regarding Ethan’s funding.”
Vickie has since self-coordinated assistive technology and therapy quotes, as well as reports from Ethan’s treating therapists. With these in hand she organised an unscheduled plan review meeting with their Local Area Coordinator.
Vickie was able to demonstrate at this meeting that Ethan’s current plan didn’t cater for the level of supports that he required to meet his plan goals and successfully advocated for a new NDIS plan. She is hopeful that the new plan will be better suited to his needs.
Building skills and confidence
Two of Ethan’s plan goals were to ‘learn social cues, connect with his peers’ and ‘regulate his emotions.’ He has begun working towards these skills through martial arts classes and equine therapy funded by his NDIS plan.
Next steps for Ethan are to feel confident catching the school bus and one day, have a day out with a friend or mentor without his mum.
Vickie has gathered reports and advice from Ethan’s treating therapists around what supports he will need to achieve these goals and his new plan will have the correct funding to make it happen.
“Ethan is continually growing in self-awareness and confidence in his own abilities” says Vickie.” He loves engaging with his instructor as his instructor is kind and patient. I am so proud of Ethan’s achievements.”
“Thank you CHESS Connect. There are no words to express the uniqueness of this amazing nurturing organisation we have built in CHESS Connect. We have one common goal – all working together to achieve maximum results for each and every customer to reach their individual goals.” – Vickie, Ethan’s Mum
Note from the editor: Ethan wants to share his achievements with his team at CHESS Connect! Here is Ethan learning self regulation techniques during equine therapy, leading a horse for the first time ever – well done Ethan! And a big thank you to Vickie also for sharing her son’s story with us, can’t wait to see what new updates Ethan has for us in the future!
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