Brady’s mother, Kathy, spent six years trying to secure robust, independent housing for her son Brady, who has autism. The process of receiving Specialist Disability Accommodation (SDA) funding through the NDIS was not an easy one, but Brady has now settled into his Box Hill home and can begin the next chapter of his life.
“Brady was awestruck when he saw his room. He’d gone on camp and while he was away, we moved in all his furniture and some new posters for his wall, with stu he likes, like ‘The Lion King’ and ‘Cars.’ He normally never sits, he usually bounces and wanders around and jumps, but he sat there for an hour awestruck,” says Kathy.
It has been a long and arduous road, yet one with an outcome the Neville Street families are forever grateful for.
One of the best things about Brady moving into his own home is the valuable time he now spends with his parents.
“Getting the SDA approval (his eligibility) was a huge step. So much paperwork and documentation and reports and support from professionals, and it took a long time and a lot of pushing the NDIS. But it’s a journey worth taking and people have to see it through,” says Kathy. Brady moved into Neville Street on 23 February 2020, with his housemate moving in about eight weeks after Brady had settled in (partly due to the pandemic). The two boys had been attending fortnightly camps together so that they could get to know each other and strengthen their relationship before moving into their two-bedroom townhouse. Kathy believes the boys spending time away together, while testing out their similar interests, compatibility and tolerability has been the key to success for the boys’ harmonious living. The Neville Street property features two robust built SDA two-bedroom townhouses, with Brady and his housemate living in one unit, and the second townhouse designed for two females. The properties also have onsite sta, with 12 sta from Gateways, our supported independent living partner working with the residents.
“He’s not dependent on mum and dad for everything, he is able to make some of his own choices,” Kathy says.
“He has quality time with us now instead of quantity time. We miss him with no end, and know that he probably misses us, but when we see him now, we just do Brady things. Before we were trying to fit everything into the busyness of our lives, and it wasn’t really quality interaction. Now when he sees us, we just do the fun stu he wants to do.” she continues. If it wasn’t for the Neville Street townhouse, Brady’s housing options would be very limited. Brady would still be living at home with his parents, as group homes are generally unsuitable for people with autism. “He’d be in there (group home) for no more than 2-3 minutes, work out there’s people everywhere and just be looking for the next exit to get out and escape. It’d be too overcrowded, too much noise, too many things going on. People with autism are just trying to find their own space, so a group home setting would be setting him up for failure and for somebody to get hurt,” says Kathy.
Housing Choices Australia | Annual Report 2019-20
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