Grass is greener with NDIS
Life had always had its challenges for Sean Walker, but it wasn't until the age of 41 that the Raymond Terrace man was formally diagnosed with autism.
The father of three said he saw similar personality traits between himself and his youngest son, who also has autism.
"I'm an autistic husband, father and grandfather. I found out over two years ago that I was autistic.
"I went and got diagnosed because my youngest son is autistic. I saw a psychologist and went through the process which took a fair time to do."
A willingness to share his story and provide advice for others going through similar circumstances saw Sean come across the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) for the first time.
"I went and did a speech about being an autistic adult for a local autism group with parents of autistic kids and some adults with autism. The woman there worked for the NDIS so she gave us some information and I got registered a little over 12 months ago."
It wasn't until a visit to specialists that Sean began moving in the right direction with his NDIS support.
"That pushed us in the right direction because I don't just have the social problems associated with autism, there's also physical problems."
Sean now has supports to improve his mobility and reduce muscle pain. Along with the physical support, Sean also has support workers who can assist in ticking off daily tasks.
The NDIS support has allowed Sean to flourish in his own small business, a local lawn mowing service.
While originally starting as a residential lawn mower on the Central Coast, a relocation to Raymond Terrace to be with his wife and the NDIS support has allowed Sean to build his business to service commercial businesses.
"I don't want to brag but I can't lie, I'm good at what I do!" Sean said
"Being autistic is a positive attribute because I can't help picking up every little detail and making sure edges are perfectly straight, no grass is out of place, paths are spotless, and I do genuinely care that the lawn looks as good as humanly possible.
Life is busy for Sean as he grows his business and spends time with his three sons - aged 23, 16 and 14 - and two grandsons, 18 months and four months.
Sean says one day he wants to hire and train others with autism to mow lawns as well as set up a charity to teach professionals about autism.
But for now, Sean says life is pretty good.
"Life has never been better for me. I am married to a great woman, I have great kids, a great house and a business that I love to work in"
"What more could a man want?"