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Ghaith is a regular “cool dude” and an easy going teenager with a difference, he has cerebral palsy. This has not stopped Ghaith from forming a close and loving relationship with his family, especially with his older brother Saif. He also likes to hang out with his new mates from his day program centre.
In fact, Ghaith is a bit of a Whizz Kid and was very quick to learn about all the cool functions he needed to independently maneuver his new electric wheelchair. He loves putting his wheelchair controls on high so he can spin faster around the house. Sometimes he freaks his mum out by using the controls to tilt his wheelchair back, just to get a reaction out of her. But she knows that he does it to make her laugh.
Since The Benevolent Society became involved with Ghaith, he has a lot more to laugh about, but it was not always that way.
The Benevolent Society first came into contact with Ghaith and his family in last year to help him write his NDIS plan as requested by National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA). Ghaith's Ageing, Disability and Home Care (ADHC) The Benevolent Society case manager Jackie could speak fluent Arabic, so that made it heaps easier for the family to be able to work through the process of identifying goals for Ghaith.
At this stage, the family was not linked with any other services, except for the day program where Ghaith was attending 3 days a week. Ghaith and his family desperately needed additional services. His wheelchair needed to be fitted with a harness as it was unsafe for him to travel in and his shower chair was broken. He had been waiting over 6 months for it to be replaced.
Ghaith also needed in-home services to assist with his daily living supports, an increase in attendance at his day program and to have opportunities to build his connections within his local community.
Due to the diligent efforts of the ADHC The Benevolent Society staff, Ghaith received all the funding he required to be able to achieve his goals. With the job completed, ADHC The Benevolent Society said goodbye to the family and wished them luck as they were transferred to another organisation to implement his plan.
About 8 months later Ghaith’s speech therapist asked Jackie from The Benevolent Society to act as a translator for Ghaith. She quickly noticed that things were worse for Ghaith, not better. His wheelchair was still not fitted with the harness to ensure his safety and he was still using the same broken shower chair. His Dad was using duct tape to hold the chair together. Only part of his funding was being used. He received no “In-home care” all year, however this service was about to commence after waiting for 8 months. He had no equipment and no harness on his wheelchair to protect him when traveling on the bus.
On a brighter note, Ghaith was attending day program 4 days a week instead of 3 and he was finally offered some single days of overnight respite, which commenced in October 2017.
But the main problem was that his current NDIS funding was about to expire.
The family asked Jackie if The Benevolent Society would help them as they were about to lose the original funding. After consultation with NDIA, The Benevolent Society got the green light to provide Ghaith full-time support coordination.
In a very short time with The Benevolent Society, Ghaith is well on his way to attending his day program 5 days a week. He has also commenced some overnight respite with consecutive days to allow the family a more suitable break. He is receiving “In-home personal care" and we are working on increasing it to more days. An Occupational Therapist has begun working closely with Ghaith and is in the process of completing the assessments required for the modifications to his wheelchair, and has begun trialling him with a new shower chair.
The Benevolent Society have provided a supporting letter outlining all the issues that were faced by the family last year, including an action plan identifying what supports he will require for next year. This will be submitted at his up and coming NDIS planning meeting. Once again The Benevolent Society will be there to support Ghaith and his family, and we are committed to working with Ghaith and his family to ensure he receives his full funding requirements next year.
The future is looking up for Ghaith, we have made so much progress in a short time! The Benevolent Society are even trialling Ghaith on using funky utensils so that he can learn how to feed himself, which he is very excited about. We have also put together an incredible communication book filled with pictures for Ghaith to learn how to communicate his needs, wants, and feelings to anyone who comes in contact with him. No wonder Ghaith now has a lot to be happy about and so do his family.
*Names and images have been changed to protect members of the family