Declan is becoming well known these days at his favourite places, which include most of the swimming pools in Brisbane.
He loves getting out and about in the community – cycling, swimming, learning to dive, playing badminton – and it’s all becoming much easier and more enjoyable for him.
Declan is 14 and has severe autism. In the past, he’s struggled with challenging behaviour which, at a height of 6 foot 4, can cause those around him a little stress and angst. But these days, his Mum Belinda tells us, he’s blossoming.
It’s all due to the support, understanding and help of his family, his school, the community and CARS, including his wonderful support worker, Amy (pictured above). And, of course, Declan himself.
His verbal skills continue to improve considerably, which means he’s able to make more of his own choices and as a result, have more control over his day.
He uses a visual timetable to help plan out his activities and a communication book that helps to reduce his anxiety about unfamiliar situations.
Both Declan and his Mum are grateful that the people he works with and meets in the community are welcoming him with understanding and acceptance.
Being part of the community has given Declan more confidence and he feels more in control of his world. And he has big plans – including mastering his diving skills, improving his badminton game, and continuing to expand his networks even further.