Our son, Nathan is now 21 years of age and due to his significant disability, has been in receipt of substantial formal paid support from the age of 13.
The service provider at the time gave our son and his family great support and provided a person-centred plan created with our help and to our satisfaction. However, unfortunately it did not continue in this way in his adult life. After leaving school he attended a day respite service where his only option was pursuing leisure activities in groups with others with disabilities and his individual interests and skills were not acknowledged or developed. Then we were introduced to the concept of self-direction through a hosting agency and we knew immediately that’s the road we wanted to choose. We were amazed at the difference it could and has made to all our lives. It can only be described as a breath of fresh air.
Nathan is now free to choose the lifestyle he wants and pursues activities that he prefers. He no longer attends day respite, he likes the staff and he is more communicative than he has been in the past. He is beginning to build community networks that will ensure his wellbeing into the future. We, his parents, are very involved in the hiring, training and management of staff and this is our preference. It gives us a real sense of autonomy and the freedom to hire the most appropriate persons for this role. We now manage our son’s lifestyle in a more relaxed and positive way and our own health, wellbeing and family life have improved.