We have 6 children Amity 12, Skye 11, Summer 10 Bonnie 8, Braxton 3 and Jett 2. Bonnie with ASD and ADHD, Braxton ASD and Jett trisomy 21 (Down Syndrome).
With Braxton’s diagnosis of ASD I was referred to Shaping Outcomes and assigned the most magnificent Key Worker who has guided me and helped me put all Braxton’s and Jett’s support into place. From speech therapy, social groups and physio to just making sure I’m mentally ok I couldn’t ask for anything else.
The one piece of advice I would pass on to someone who is at the beginning of their experience would be, everything is going to be ok. Contact Shaping Outcomes and you will be in the most amazing, hands of people who genuinely care.
One of the greatest outcomes for me so far is watching Brax starting to socialise with other children. Knowing that through the social groups he’s been attending at Shaping Outcomes, they are giving him the skills to engage with other children. It’s helped him so much and after a year he has come so far.
THE LOADSMAN’S STORY
We are the Loadsman Family. Lovingly made up of my husband Shane, our 5 beautiful children, and of course myself, mum, Jana. We are not only unique because of our size, but because we also have not one, but three children with very serious and special needs.
I first came to Shaping Outcomes, approximately 8 years ago, after struggling to come to terms with not only my first born daughters diagnosis of Alagille Syndrome, and then my second daughters ongoing epileptic seizures, but also trying to deal with all the demands that being a parent of a special needs child brings. I wasn’t looking for help, I was actually against accepting any assistance, outside of my immediate family. I guess I thought that would make me weak as a parent. As a carer. As a mother. But I was encouraged by my paediatrician, to “just give it a go”.
My involvement with Shaping Outcomes had a really profound impact on myself personally. After I had completed a 10 weeks support group, I actually went and signed up to complete a university degree, so I could “give back” and help people who had been there to help me!
I want to say to other mums going through the beginning of their journey, is that “ITS TOTALLY OK, TO NOT BE OK”. It is GOOD to cry. It is GOOD to grieve. Its ALL a part of the process. NOONE can prepare you for what you are going to face. For the good and horrible decisions that you are going to have to make to make your baby better. IT IS OK TO MAKE MISTAKES. It seriously IS all part of the learning. TAKE TIME FOR YOURSELF, you cant be an amazing parent if your barely holding it together. And lastly, and MOST IMPORTANTLY, ACCEPT HELP!! SAY YES to HELP. This last point was my biggest struggle through my 12 year journey of being a special care mum. It’s still something that I struggle to deal with, to this day.
My children were empowered by their experience with Shaping Outcomes!!! They were facilitated with the necessary skills relevant to begin mainstream schooling, and received ongoing support through their transition to “big” school!!!
Ange and her partner Kate are the parents of two boys, William (7) and Cohen (5). Ange and Kate both agreed their son Cohen would benefit greatly from being involved in the early intervention program. Cohen attended the Social Communication Group for kids transitioning to school.
While Cohen attended these lessons all the parents met in the family room and it was here that I learnt a lot about organizations that could help Cohen and I got to speak with other parents and hear about their situations which was helpful. These sessions sparked many ideas and thoughts for me.
The greatest achievement for our family from attending the service is that Cohen was READY. Cohen was helped to the point where he was really ready to go to school. Both emotionally and physically. Since starting at Shaping Outcomes, he is now able to self-regulate better. His fine motor skills are coming along really nicely and he can sit at his desk engaged in activities just as well as the other kids. Sometimes if not better.
This service is incredible and I really appreciate the work they do. It helped my family a lot. Cohen is doing wonders already in school. I spent the greater part of the year, last year preparing for this year with Cohen entering school. I have no doubt that without Shaping Outcomes we would have been a lot less ready. From helping Cohen directly in the group sessions, to coming with me to meetings with the school and helping me think of things. I really can’t thank this service enough.”
My 3 amazing boys, Nate 7, Phoenix 5 and Kai 4 and I are a very close family who love to play board games, love the beach and park and always encourage each other to do our best.
Phoenix was diagnosed with Infantile Refsum Disease which is a Progressive terminal disease affecting all major organs and systems in the body. This has led to profound hearing loss and tunnel vision (Retinitis Pigmentosa), low muscle tone, and developmental delays among other issues. None of this however stops Phoenix. He is a cheeky, sensitive, happy boy who inspires me every day.
We have been involved with Shaping Outcomes since Phoenix was first diagnosed at age 2, so almost 4 years now. We were first referred by his paediatrician who recommended Phoenix be a part of an Early Intervention Program to help develop and retain skills. I wasn’t sure what to expect but was happy we were on the right path knowing Phoenix would need that extra help in the early years.
Shaping Outcomes has changed Phoenix’ and my families life. We feel ‘looked after’. If we are having a bad day whether it’s behaviour challenges, equipment issues, social problems, Shaping Outcomes is my first call. Phoenix’ Key Worker has been such a blessing to us. Not only is she a wealth of information and knowledge, but she truly ‘gets it’ and is like family.
If I could give one piece of advice or something I wish I had known at the beginning of our journey it would be to take one day at a time and to focus on your child’s strengths not what they can’t yet do.
I have confidence in myself again since Phoenix’ diagnosis and having Shaping Outcomes involved has brought back our quality of life knowing we are apart of a wonderful community organisation. It really is so important in those early years to have support for you and your family and we couldn’t be happier with Shaping Outcomes.
Parenting is one of the most difficult jobs any of us will do in our lives, but it’s also the one we’re least prepared for. When a family has a child with a disability, this difficult job becomes even more challenging. As the parent of a child with autism, Lesley well understands these challenges.
Lesley came to Shaping Outcomes seeking support for his young son. He enrolled in the Primary Care Stepping Stones Triple P course to find new strategies for managing his son’s behaviours. The problem behaviour he first identified was “flicking on and off the kitchen light”, which drove Lesley mad while trying to make dinner. Lesley went through the different strategies used for positive behaviour support and he chose “planned ignoring”, which worked a treat.
The misbehaviour is decreasing and the good behaviours are increasing. Lesley says “He’s not being as naughty as he used to”. It took only three short sessions for Lesley to arrive at some new strategies in managing his child’s behaviour.
“I don’t worry about what Cody can’t do, I think about all the things he can do now. As parents we can get stressed out about all these things, so now I take a step back and celebrate all the great things Cody is learning to do like signing, going to the toilet and playing”.