My twin brother came into the world healthy and able bodied. Our big sister was born 2 years before.
I lived in my own little world for the first 15 months, I didn’t respond to anyone and I didn’t like to be picked up and cuddled. My parents decided to take me to America to a clinic for children with Cerebral Palsy where they constructed a program of exercises which helped me to interact with my family and friends.
I attended the Bundaberg Special School for 7 years which I disliked, because the school catered mainly for students who had a learning disability. I could understand what was being taught immediately, so therefore I felt intellectually isolated.
In 1987 I started my secondary education at Shalom Catholic College of which I enjoyed the 3 years there, mostly because the teachers taught me at my intellect level which was much the same as my fellow classmates, and I was treated as an equal.
I found talking to and making new friends very satisfying as we’d talk about what any school-kid would. At the Special school I would get frustrated talking to some students who would talk silly things of which I had little or no interest. At both schools I had 2 teacher aides who assisted with my schoolwork, feeding me and toileting.
I left school after year 10. I then went onto do various courses from computer and small business, to art and writing.
I took up writing in 1991. I had a couple of articles published in local newspapers, I also received an encouragement award at the Childers Art & Craft Bazaar Writing Competition where I wrote a short story called “My First 19 Years of Life.”
During the 1990’s I wrote a screen play about a young man with Cerebral Palsy and his girlfriend. I sent the script to a number of production companies and producers but there unfortunately was no successful outcome.
After 2 years of waiting (which seemed like an eternity), I moved into my own unit in January 2001. This was one of my biggest achievements in my life. I have always wanted to move out of home since seeing my brother and sister move out a few years before. It took a long time until Mum and I discovered I could live by myself.
I live fairly independently; I have support with my meals, some personal care and some outings. I am an active member of the local Apex club of which I’m currently the treasurer and the dinner notice editor. I like spending time with family and friends, going to Clubs occasionally, watching sport and listening to music.