The Good Life Newsletter May 2016

Isaac’s Housemates Move In To Beadlemania

housematesIsaac’s housemates Patrick, Michael, Ben, Savannah, 3 cute pet rats and a kitten called Merlin have moved in to Beadle Place – otherwise known as Beadlemania.  To celebrate, family, friends and neighbours were invited to an afternoon tea for a grand tour and to get to know each other.

All the flatmate mums were also invited over for a lovely mother’s day lunch.  It felt like we were all one big family – a nice feeling.

Isaac will be learning what its like to move out of home and live independanty by staying at Beadlemania every second weekend.  We have been planning what will happen when Isaac comes to stay. A few key things are that:

  • Isaac will be an equal flatmate, not the landlord.  So Isaac needs to learn how to help out with the chores.
  • The flatmates will mostly be like ordinary flatmates and not carers.  So they will do things like cook shared meals, go on outings together, hang out at home, keep an eye out for each other’s welfare just like ordinary flat mates do.  They will not find themselves doing many carer type things very often like personal care or giving medication unless that is something they and Isaac are wanting to do.
  • Paid supports will also support Isaac to be a good flat mate as well has handling the carer type tasks.  Isaac’s support workers will need to help Isaac to learn to do chores, pick up after himself and not leave the lights on or the front door unlocked.
  • The flatmates will not have their lives constrained. Flatmates should still be able to fulfill commitments like working or playing sport.  There will be times when they will need to be around but these will be fun times.

This is going to be a bit of a journey for us all and its wonderful that these young people are so keen to be involved.

Isaac is going to vote in the upcoming election

Isaac is going to vote in the upcoming election.  This is his human right but its going to be tricky.  We are doing lots of practice around voting and will be visiting the Australian Electoral Office Education centre.  There is very little information about supporting people with an intellectual disability to vote on the Electoral Commission website.  Perhaps they think people like Isaac don’t understand voting and therefore shouldn’t vote. I say who knows?  and he should be given the opportunity to try. After all who does know everything about all the candidates and their policies?

I’m nervous about what the experience will be like.  I don’t want him stopped by people at the poll booth.  I’m not sure if his support workers or family or friends can assist him to vote.  So I’m off to the Electoral Office to see if they can offer some guidance and support to help the day run smoothly.

Isaac Delivers

Isaac continues to enjoy delivering magazines to doctors surgeries and car dealerships. We are finding the next hurdle of developing the business into a paid service quite a challenge. We need assistance to find businesses willing to pay for Isaac’s services.  He can collect and deliver anything that is:

  • light weight
  • easy to carry
  • is regular and not a one off

So this could be:

  • mail
  • magazines
  • coffees
  • food
  • spare parts
  • etc

We need someone who is good at talking with businesses about what Isaac can offer.  I find it too hard – its too emotional for me.  When people say no, its very hard to cope with because it means so much to me for him to have a paid job.

If you know anyone who has experience in business development, we would be quite willing to pay for them to engage with businesses to help us find clients willing to use Isaac’s services.

Isaac delivers logo
Isaac’s delivery business logo

Personal Training

Personal training is on Wednesdays and Thursdays from 7-8pm at our house.  It’s lots of fun and Isaac keeps us moving by being the music man.  You are very welcome to join us – its $20 per session.

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Isaac working out with friends
Isaac working out with friends

Experiencing University

Isaac has had a great first semester joining in with the UC drumming club.  We are hoping to continue the club next semester.  It’s proving expensive so we are looking at ways of running the club more cheaply – perhaps buying our own drums and using Youtube as our teacher.

We are also looking at Isaac experiencing being part of a class and I have been exploring setting up a literacy group where Isaac, teacher education students and Isaac’s support workers and friends can come along and learn together about literacy. Hopefully this class will be up and running in semester 2.

We are looking to hire teachers that are experienced in using the 4 blocks literacy framework to teach the class so if you know of anyone get in touch.

Public Speaking

Earlier this year Isaac did some speaking at a forum for people who are transitioning into the NDIS up in Toowoomba and Brisbane.  Isaac, his brother Ben, friend Savannah, support worker Jade, step father David and myself all presented.  Isaac has a little powerpoint presentation and uses big buttons to change slides.  He is still learning about presenting and we were really pleased that he was able to show a few of his slides before wanting to leave. We are talking with him about how important it is to be able to help other people by sharing his story.  He seems to be a bit nervous about public speaking – and so are we!

Trip to Perth

I had a great trip to Perth recently to visit the folks from Microboards Australia.  They kindly shared what they are doing over there with regards to alternative communication, housing, positive behaviour support and literacy.  I was particularly interested in the literacy group and how several young men with complex disabilities are learning to read and write when others might have given up on them. Its slow and steady work but the young men have gone from not wanting to be in the room to enjoying two hours of writing and reading activities.

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Hang out with Isaac over a drink and some live music at Westside Acton Park on Sundays from 1:30 – 3:30

Each Sunday afternoon Isaac loves to hit Westside Acton Park – where all the big yellow shipping containers are.  So if you fancy an afternoon of music get on down there and hang out with Isaac – he’d love to see you there.

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