All Mornington mother Helen Schneider ever wanted for her son Ben was some help.
In May 2018, with the introduction of the NDIS in their area, Ben really came alive, Helen said.
“For the first time in his life, he’s actually having a great time. He’s loving all the support workers and meeting all these new people.
“I was delighted when the NDIS came along. I was open-minded, I had no idea where it would take us, but I thought hallelujah, this is the first time we’ve been offered something to help Ben.”
Ben, who didn’t receive any support prior to the NDIS, now gets help to access the community, increase his mobility and funding for individual skill development and training.
“His support workers often correspond with him via SMS, which is great because he’s now started using SMS too. He’s learning lots of new skills and his confidence is really growing.
“It’s a huge change in him. It’s the first time he’s taken an interest in himself and punctuality and he looks forward to getting out and doing things, whereas before he was just becoming a hermit at home.
“We’d been trying to find someone to help Ben with his personal grooming, but he said, ‘I can do that, I don’t need a support worker to help me’. Well, I’d never heard that before!
“I’m hoping Ben will continue to grow in his trust of what’s around him. His supports will change, because his needs will change."
World Autism Awareness Week (1-7 April) promotes the full participation of all people with autism to ensure they have the necessary support to be able to exercise their rights and fundamental freedoms.