Providing support to stand alone

GENUINE HELP: Erin has her own friendship and community network separate to the family, thanks to a Life Without Barriers transition program.

GENUINE HELP: Erin has her own friendship and community network separate to the family, thanks to a Life Without Barriers transition program.

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Through her support programs which are now accessed through her NDIS plan, 31-year-old Erin has made significant progress in developing new skills and greater independence and now has a social life established through her networks.

Mum Lynne said Erin is enjoying life more than ever. “Mondays she is out dancing, she is a regular at karaoke and ten pin bowling and goes on social outings with her carers. Our lives, and Erin’s, have changed for the better and we are so thankful,” she said.

The youngest of three children, Erin was born with a rare chromosomal condition and had been cared for by family members for many years. Following the move to Newcastle, the family connected with Life Without Barriers (LWB) and Erin has been able to attend regular programs and participate in activities she chooses across the week.

“Erin had already been working with LWB when the NDIS kicked off in 2013, so it was an easier transition for us to make as she could continue to be supported by some of the carers and support staff she already knew,” Lynne said.

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She says the ongoing and consistent contact with the same team has been amazing and had an active and positive impact on Erin’s progress and development.

“Erin has always had good receptive communication, but outbound communication has always been more difficult for her. We are thrilled that she can now say the names of her carers, which makes an enormous positive difference to her self-esteem.”

Erin’s confidence and sense of independence has clearly blossomed now she is living independently from her parents in shared accommodation.

“We are delighted that Erin is now socialising with her peers outside of her day program which is something she looks forward to every week.  She has a house mate that complements her and they work well as a team in their new home. The NDIS program has given us something we never thought we would have for Erin – choice! By having a choice in carers and in social activities Erin is now happy and settled.

“We are no longer worried about how she’ll cope as we become older,” she added.

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