Natalie and Dan, proud parents of four-year-old George, say now he is receiving NDIS Early Childhood Early Intervention (ECEI) supports, he is more confident, independent and brave, and they can see it has helped to narrow the gap between George and his peers.
Born with Moebius syndrome, a rare condition characterised by facial paralysis and clubfoot, Natalie said at birth they discovered George’s vocal cords were paralysed and at just two months of age, he underwent a tracheostomy – an operation, creating an opening in George’s neck so they could place a tube in his windpipe.
“It affected his speech, his eating and his mobility,” she said. “Seeing our little boy born with differences and hurdles was heartbreaking.
“We’ve always had big dreams for George, and we’ve always dreamed he would have a rich and fulfilling life. We have always sought opportunities to support and develop his potential but, more often than not, we would come up against closed doors.
As Moebius Syndrome is such a rare condition, George hadn’t received support prior to joining the NDIS.
“Thankfully, the Scheme is all about people’s functional capacity, and George met the criteria but I admit I was nervous.
“Our NDIS ECEI coordinator came out to our house and really listened to our story and the dreams we have for George.
“It was like having a conversation with a new friend then over the weeks that followed, we were emailing each other back and forth with new ways we had both identified, as additional ways we could help support George through his plan.”
Natalie said when they received George’s finished plan it was as if all of those closed doors they had encountered, earlier in his life, were finally open.
“My son’s NDIS plan meant now he and us, as a family, had possibilities. I finally felt like I had some control over helping George to achieve his dreams. I called the therapists that very week!” Natalie said.
“Since George has been with the NDIS, the greatest change to our family has been seeing him become more confident, independent and brave. It actually feels like the gap between him and his peers is finally narrowing.
“George has achieved so much already and we are all really excited to see what goals we’ll be dreaming for him in his next plan,” Natalie said.
“The NDIS has helped unlock the world for George and his possibilities are now endless,” she added.