Our work focuses on supporting families to overcome the challenges they face by giving them the strategies and skills to create the life they want for their child and family.
Here are a few success stories from families who have contacted ACD and benefited from our work:
“At 14 months, my daughter was diagnosed with a global developmental delay. As a parent, your automatic reaction is to try to fix the problem and hope the development delays will pass. But the reality is that you can’t. At age 4 she was further diagnosed with autism and an intellectual disability.
My daughter has many wonderful attributes but she is also very challenging to care for. She has difficulties with communication, self-harming behaviour, is incontinent and struggles with any change in routine. The one question we continuously ask ourselves is: how are we going to manage? I needed support just to keep going and to ensure that Lisa stayed living with us but I wasn’t sure what was available and how I could access it.
The ACD Support Worker helped me with each step of what was a very complex and long process. They worked with me to develop a strategy to access services and to develop a plan to address the issues we were facing.
Now Lisa has carers who take her out regularly which is great for her. She enjoys the activities and the rest of our family get a chance to do things together that were just not possible in the past. ACD turned a once overwhelming situation into a brighter and more sustainable future for us all.”
“ACD was really helpful at different points of our journey. I was lucky to receive their brochures, and found that really helpful when my son was younger. In the high school years I remembered them, and I was fortunate to speak to a very skilled worker who not only provided me her time and her empathy, but she actually helped to train me in ways to communicate that would help a school listen to me.
She helped to give me a place to put my frustration – with her – so that I could see things in new ways, and have my message be really clear. I learned to notice what was reasonable to expect, and which things might not be addressed in the school area, but which I could chip away with my own resources or in my own time. I found her to be incredibly wise and really useful and I’m really appreciative of that time.
When I contacted ACD, I found them to be really helpful in providing me with new ways of communicating, and understanding how to speak to schools so they would listen; and doing it in such a lovely warm way that was respectful to me and my journey, and my son’s journey, and my desires for him.”
“I had to go on sort of this fact-finding journey, and when I contacted ACD I spoke to a lovely lady who helped me through. She gave me the websites, she gave me things that I could sit and read, to ensure that we knew what our rights were with regards to education, and what my son is entitled to.”
“There were a lot of things that I didn’t really quite understand. So to be given that information, it’s really empowering. I’m a pretty easygoing person, but there comes a point where you say — maybe we need to shake things up, to help people understand that what we’re doing, we could be doing better. And that’s where the ACD Support Worker gave me confidence.
She helped me to draft emails and letters. I would pass them by her and say – does this sound right, or can I change anything? You want to inform people and for them to know that you know what you’re talking about. Because it helps them to go, ‘Oh hang on a minute, maybe we do need to look into this a little bit further, maybe we do need to understand this a little bit more’. And so I was able to be a little bit more articulate and then my confidence grew with that.
“The ACD Support Worker supported me at a couple of meetings at the school. She sat next to me and said, ‘If you need a moment, just excuse yourself, get up and walk out, and if you need to recompose yourself do those things. Because it actually gives not just you a moment to reflect, it gives the people in the room a moment to reflect on what are we really here for — This is a student support group meeting. Let’s support this student to move forward in their education.’
The ACD Support Worker gave me knowledge. She gave me confidence. And she made me feel as though I wasn’t the ‘crazy’ one, for want of a better term, because I really thought — is what I’m asking for unreasonable?”