Moving to the NDIS can be stressful but particularly so when you are already fearful of change.
Windermere recently worked with one young woman to reduce anxiety and support her to become more independent and connected with her community.
When 24 year old Michelle and mum Tanya approached Windermere for support to move to the NDIS they were both very worried. Michelle dislikes change, and, in the face of increasing anxiety, the pair were seeking someone to guide them through the NDIS process and provide one-on-one support, education and care.
A combination of inadequate support and the prospect of an early transition to the NDIS was creating their concerns. Michelle’s Life Skills group program was not meeting her needs. Unfortunately Tanya was left to look for services for Michelle on her own. She had little access to carers or respite support.
At the age of six years Michelle was first diagnosed with an early childhood developmental delay. Then at the age of eight, she was diagnosed with an intellectual disability. She also has a mental health condition.
Michelle had previously been attending a mainstream school. After her diagnosis she was required to move to a Melbourne Special Needs (MSN) school.
More recently, Tanya and Michelle decided to reach out to Windermere for NDIS services.
“We met Kate from Windermere and she made the process so easy,” says Tanya.
Kate used Windermere’s person-centred approached to ensure that Michelle was at the centre of the decision making process.
She worked with Michelle and Tanya to ensure that the NDIS supports and goals which were suited to Michelle were included in her NDIS plan.
Michelle’s transition to the NDIS was slowed down to allow Michelle time to adjust. Kate attended meetings with Michelle’s group program staff to ensure the changes wouldn’t have a negative impact. She also ensured that Michelle’s timetable was individualised and flexible.
“After 5-6 months, and despite all the planning that both Kate and I conducted to ensure the transition was as smooth as possible, we were still surprised to see the outcome. Michelle accepted the changes better than we could have ever hoped for,” says Tanya.
One of Michelle’s goals was to become more independent and connected with her community. Windermere supported Michelle to attend classes and made it possible for her to volunteer for various programs she is passionate about. Michelle now regularly enjoys volunteering for Rain, Hayne & Shine, the Salvation Army, Meals on Wheels and a local soup kitchen.
“Michelle believes that she finally has a purpose in life. She can voice her opinion and feels that her opinion is heard and valued. She can also select the programs and activities that she likes,” says Tanya.
“I could never have transitioned Michelle to the NDIS without Kate and Windermere’s support. They have been great throughout the whole process and have had Michelle’s needs at the forefront of all advice and support. Windermere and the NDIS have been the best thing for Michelle,” says Tanya.
Although the move to the NDIS has exceeded expectations, Michelle will continue to need ongoing support to achieve her goals.