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Big Plan forges path to achieving goals

Photo of Jordan

An individually-tailored WA National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) plan, strong family support and self-determination have assisted Jordan, 18, of Atwell, to transform from a shy, retiring person to a self-assured young man who enjoys community life and is achieving his goals.

For many years Jordan, who has autism, lacked the confidence to speak to people, make eye contact or use public transport.

But things changed after Jordan and his family attended a Big Plan workshop in 2013, run by the Disability Services Commission and Atwell College.

The program was designed to assist students with disability to identify their life dreams while providing a foundation for setting post-school life goals.

Jordan’s mother Liliana said the program triggered significant changes.

“It was at this point that Jordan found his voice and started to plan for life after school,” she said.

“Jordan was very clear about his goals: he wanted to become self-confident and independent, further his studies and get a job.”

The Big Plan program was a good introduction to the planning process required as part of the WA NDIS, which Jordan and his family joined when the trial began in Cockburn-Kwinana in 2015.

Once a person is found eligible for WA NDIS services and supports, they are assigned a Local Coordinator who works with them to develop a personal plan.

Since he signed up with WA NDIS, Jordan has explored a variety of work, study and other opportunities to increase his independence.

His family and WA NDIS Local Coordinator Bev Gill have supported him all the way.

“Through the WA NDIS planning process, Jordan and I were able to break down his goals into stages and then identify the steps he needed to achieve each stage,” Bev said.

“Jordan decided to attend TAFE to study computers and life skills and also enlisted job support from disability employment service provider Bizlink.”

To develop his independence skills, Jordan enlisted the support of role model and mentor support worker Daniel.

Daniel taught Jordan how to use a SmartRider card, which gave him the confidence to use public transport by himself to go to TAFE, the gym and shopping centre.

“I love going out with Daniel, going to the comic book shop, talking more and having confidence in ordering items from a menu,” Jordan said.

He has been working with a speech therapist to develop his social communication skills. Liliana said this was already having an impact because Jordan now openly expresses his opinions rather than saying what he thinks other people want to hear.

Jordan has also joined a local peer support group for young people with autism to form new friendships based on their common interests.

Bev described Jordan’s achievements in such a short space of time as priceless.

She is now working with Jordan on his second WA NDIS plan and says he is looking forward to achieving more of his goals in the near future.