Here is a little bit about some of our core presenters and how they came to join us.
Sam is a single parent and has a twelve year old son with Down syndrome and a nine year old son who was born early and has attention, coordination and health problems. They are in mainstream classes at their local public primary school.
She has been actively involved in disability advocacy and has led parent support networks for eleven years.
Sam works in a part-time career and runs a small business. She enjoys reading, writing and Facebooking when her boys are asleep.
Donna has ten children, the youngest of whom has a physical disability and is medically fragile. He goes to a private school and is in a mainstream class. Donna’s experience in parenting would dwarf the rest of us. She has been a volunteer in the disability field for ten years, leading parent groups and contributing to consumer consultative panels since her youngest was born. She is an outstanding advocate and invaluable information resource.
Donna worked fulltime until her parenting role took over. Donna loves to read in her three spare seconds each day, but hasn’t quite figured out the Internet (yet!)
Narelle has four children, and her three sons have disabilities, two with autism, one with Tourette’s and ADHD. They go to three different schools.
Narelle has been very active in parent support groups and has somehow made some time to share her insight, experience and knowledge of Autism with Parents Helping Parents and we are very thankful she is on the team.
When we asked what Narelle does when she has time to herself, she asked “What’s that?”.
Angela is mum to twin twelve year olds, one of whom has Down syndrome and a hearing impairment, and enjoys a part-time career. Her son goes to a private school and is fully included in a regular class.
Angela has been very involved with Foundation 21 and Special Olympics and has led presentations to parents about resources for some years. Angela enjoys her large blended family and all the joys and challenges that brings, and in her spare time, she enjoys playing tennis, swimming and a coffee or glass of wine with friends.
My name is Garry , I am 50 (!) yrs old, born and lived most of my life in Country SA. I have five children 25-23-16-9-6 of which the youngest two are both have non verbal autism spectrum disorder.
Two years ago my wife and I decided to up sticks and relocate to Adelaide. We did this for the sake of our two boys with autism. Since moving to Adelaide we have been able to find lots of support in many different ways.
Unfortunately its not easy to find supports as there are so many different organisations and red tape to deal with. I have found that you have to be forceful in getting what you want for your children because if you don’t fight for them, no one else will. By being part of Parents helping Parents I hope to be able to pass on what I have learnt so far.
We are, first and foremost, parents of kids with disabilities and/or additional needs. In our working lives, we have varied careers, from a doctor, to nurses, to trades to small business. We are all looking forward to sharing our parenting experiences, our resources and our combined knowledge to empower South Australian families who have a child with a disability.