Episode 5 – Skills for Life
Hosts Dr Lisa Interligi and Kristine Christopoulos welcome guest Nicola Millar, Occupational Therapist, to talk about helping young people with disabilities develop skills for life.
Hosts Dr Lisa Interligi and Kristine Christopoulos chat to James Loveday from Empowered Liveability about Special Disability Accomodation (SDAs), transition planning that parents can do to prepare for their children’s future living arrangements, and the value in engaging people with similar disabilities in planning.
Speaker 1: Welcome to Loop Me In, the podcast community for parents and carers on raising children with disabilities. Join presenters, Dr. Lisa Interligi and Kristine Christopoulos and their guests in sharing experiences, information, and support ideas to help children with disabilities flourish. Loop Me In is brought to you weekly on platforms like Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and Stitcher to name a few. You can learn more. Connect to the Loop Me In community and listen to more episodes on our website, loop-me-in.com.au.
Kristine Christ…: Hello, and welcome to Loop Me In. Today, we talk with James Loveday from Empowered Liveability to discuss the specialized processes that go into making the dream for young adults with a disability become a reality. Welcome to you, James.
James Loveday: Hi, thank you for having me.
Kristine Christ…: [inaudible 00:01:04]-
Dr. Lisa Interl…: I think this is the second time we’ve had you though, James. I think we stopped up last time and we didn’t record, so we really enjoyed the conversation last time. We’re going to replay it hopefully.
James Loveday: That’s all right. We’ll just do it word for word, guys. It’s fine. I’ve got [inaudible 00:01:16].
Dr. Lisa Interl…: Yeah. Right.
Kristine Christ…: Well, James, tell everybody a little bit about yourself.
James Loveday: My name’s James Loveday. I grew up with a learning disability in theory. When I entered high school, I was in the special needs unit. And then from there, because I had a really good teacher who understood that I probably wasn’t as profoundly as disabled as the other kids in my class, they were able to assist me to go into mainstream education. And that’s really left me with a really strong love of the disability sector and rights-based practice around participants and their rights and their abilities and less looking at the disability. I’ve spent most of my working life in the disability sector, and I’ve gone everything from advocacy and direct support, so now I work in the housing sector under SDA, helping come up with innovative housing models and then support models into those homes.
Kristine Christ…: [inaudible 00:02:10]-
Dr. Lisa Interl…: Thank goodness for great teachers.
James Loveday: Oh, yeah. And I’m still in contact with that teacher to tell you the truth. She used to make me sit underneath her desk if I was naughty. Like she was one of those teachers, but now like I hated her, but now I’m like, you really made me the person I am now. You were harder on me than anyone else, but it was a really good thing.
Kristine Christ…: Tell us a little bit about Empowered Liveability.
James Loveday: So Empowered Liveability is an SDA company where in theory we’re the largest SDA company in Victoria supplying SDA homes. We started about five years ago with our three directors. One of our directors, Nicole owned a direct support organization and saw that some of the participants that her team were supporting were in aged care when we’re really looking for a better housing [inaudible 00:02:58]. She heard that SDA was that kind of option, didn’t know much about it. So did some research, realized that she probably didn’t have the ability because she was from a service liberal perspective to really put houses on the ground. So she reached out to other people, one named Goro and one named Joe, and one’s got like a property financing background. And one of them’s got a building and land acquisition background and together they started the company. And so now we’ve got approximately 35 houses within Victoria and then we’ve got houses in Queensland, in Western Australia.
I just got back from Adelaide where I was going to have a conversation there about building some houses. We’ve got some stuff happening in New South Wales, but we’ve kind of changed… We used to build and they will come. So we build it and then what adds out there and see who comes in. We’re now doing a little bit of that, but we’re also now building more with the knowledge of what the participants needing. So we’re really trying to build innovative models around SDAs. So models that work for families, where one person in the family might have a disability, or it might be someone with an intellectual disability who needs an SDA, but doesn’t need to live with other people that are with a disability. So how do we make that happen? And then we’re got a bit of a focus moment on building robust houses. So people with autism or neurological disorders with a real focus on how do we reduce restrictive practices in the home, by the way, in which we designed them.
And that kind of came from us working in the high physical space. So the wheelchair space and seeing a lot of the participants in high phys, some of them had acquired disabilities and sometimes it was more about dealing with their mental health than it was about dealing with their transfers. So there was other needs there, it’s not always just a blanket need. So we try to treat every participant based on their own individual merit and what they need and try to design the best home for cohabitation. You got to bring two or three people into some of these homes. So you can’t tick all the boxes, but we try to do the best possible. And one of the other things we have in Empowered Liveabilities, we’ve got four or three people with diagnosed disabilities within the organization. And then everyone within our team has a direct connection to someone with a disability, either family member, child as well. So we kind of try to work as a brain’s trust together to fix problems.
Dr. Lisa Interl…: How important is that to have connection with somebody, with a disability or to actually have a disability yourself and be able to provide that service and that guidance?
James Loveday: I think the real important part behind it is like I’m a little bit on the spectrum. There’s a lot of things going on in my brain that frustrate the hell out of my [inaudible 00:05:44]. So there’s certain things I can see in a plan and I instantly go, that’s not going to work. I can walk through a house and I can smell paint and go, that’s really not going to work. Or I can see glare through windows or I can see lights flickering that other people can’t see, but we’ve got another colleague of mine named Sam and she’s in a wheelchair and she can see things like for me, the oven’s there and it’s great and it’s accessible, but she can bring things to it like, oh, the oven’s too close to the fridge. Or if I’m using that oven and I go to turn, I physically got nowhere to put the pot out of the oven.
These are things that I don’t think about because I’ve never had to do it and Sam’s part-time in a wheelchair, but she thinks like that. And then we’ve got another lady that’s got a degenerative disorder that works in our team as well. She’s got MS. And she really looks at how we word things to people with disabilities, because quite often we forget that our market, when we’re dealing with people with disabilities is we’re dealing with managers and organizations. We’re dealing with support coordinators. We’re dealing with parents, and we’re dealing with participants and all of them need different language to say the same thing and how we present that language. So having a very diverse team helps us with the builds. There’s always lovely little discussions in the office where you’re like, oh, I just… The other team member annoys you because you know that they’re right and you were wrong.
And it also helps with the communication because if I’m not the right person… So if I’m dealing with someone that’s in a wheelchair and we have to design a home for them, I would probably take Sam to do the consultation because Sam understands it from a real life perspective where I don’t, I’ve never been in a wheelchair. I’ve never had to deal with height issues in a room because I’m six foot four, Sam’s as tall as my hips, she about half my height. So those kind of things really help with the communication, but also really help with the understanding of what people need.
Kristine Christ…: And I think that’s what’s important because every second, autistic person or person with any sort of disability is different. Aren’t they? So you really do need the family. You need the therapist involved for each particular person.
James Loveday: Right. When I was in direct support, once I met her, [inaudible 00:07:54]… Well, I wasn’t working with the kid. My friend was working with this child, and he was lovely kid, nonverbal child with autism is probably about 14. And he was banned from the taxis to go to school. And this is a kid that like he’s not violent in any way whatsoever. He would stim [inaudible 00:08:11] flick things in front of him, but never any violence. And I was like, “Hmm, there’s got to be a reason behind this,” and the taxi company abandoned because he’d had a massive outburst in the back of a cab. And so I kind of said, “Well, can I be a part of the conversation, please?” Because this annoys me. And then through me physically going in a taxi with him, we realized that the meter in the taxi had been changed.
So the ticking that he was used to every morning, that taxi had changed. So all it was us explained to him that the meter had changed and that took time. But after he knew what it was, there was no other behavior. It was because a change had been forced into his life. And because of that change, he had a behavior and he was going to not be allowed in taxis in a town for a very long period of time. So it’s because I understand ticking and things changing and stuff like that. Me being in that cab with him, I could instantly go, oh, that’s a brand new thing. That’s changed. That’s where the problem lies. So yeah, having people, different people with disabilities really, really helps.
Kristine Christ…: And what about the parents? When is it… Lisa and I have both got 22 year old boys and the thought of them obviously moving out, it’s not here or there right now, but what is the appropriate age to be starting to look at something like that? What in your experience?
James Loveday: I don’t think there’s any appropriate age. I think it’s different for everybody, but I think in relation to a person moving into supported accommodation, it’s about at what stage does the parent want to just be the parent. Look, if your child’s 22 at the moment, as a parent, you’ve got quite a bit of longevity in your life as well. And there’s a lot of fear around putting your child into a supported accommodation setting, there’s years and years of neglect that have been reported and there’s been rural commissions and the world is a very different world to what it was back then. But fundamentally, that’s what sits with parents. But you also want to look at it that when you’re having to make that decision, it’s not too late, that you’re going to have to make a quite fast and rash decision.
Also, if you’re working with people with autism, quite often, it’s got to do with transition plans. And so if you’re planning to do this, it may take five years for the concept for your child, but also for the concept to the parent. Like if you’ve been giving your whole life to this child for a period of time, it’s a big change not to have someone in your home. Like I’ve seen parents who have had children that they’ve supported their whole life. And then the child moves into the accommodation. The child loves it. And the parents just like, “I don’t… What do I do during the day? I’m just used to… Who do I cook for?” It’s that empty nester.
So it’s really about looking from an individual’s purpose. What are you wanting? When are you wanting it? And what are you wanting the outcome to be? Because if you look at it as an outcome, you can then come up with a process and then you don’t want to leave it too late, because if you leave it too late, that whole process will happen really, really fast. And your child might end up in a setting that’s just not appropriate for them. Like we have parents that have the financial means to own the SDA home for their child. And in doing that, they’re leaving their child a legacy. But to do that, that takes years of planning and understanding. And some parents are able to do that. Some participants just have to move straight into housing, some get apartments, some get to minefield from a parental point of view. You probably want to start learning as much about it as you can, so you understand what you want your outcome to be because you don’t want the outcome to be pushed onto you at the last moment.
Kristine Christ…: Yeah, really good point.
Dr. Lisa Interl…: One of the discussions we had previously was around moving in with different people, whether you’re moving in with friends or you moving in with people you don’t know and how that works. What’s your experience to that, James? How’s have you seen that play out?
James Loveday: It plays out so many different ways. I set up a house for two young men. I won’t say the location, because people will know exactly where that is. There’s not a very big place, but they were both in their early 20s. Both of them were just at a stage in life where they wanted to move out home to tell you the truth, they’d had less… Their parents could have kept them around for another couple of years. But understanding that the parents were still going to be a big part of their life. Once we decided, yeah, they were going to be appropriate for this accommodation from a kind of financial point of view, from the NDIS perspective, we then got them to meet together. And we met in a pizza place because say the truth, everyone likes pizza. If not this pasta, this soft drink, you can work it out.
And so they met, but we also brought the families along, because we had to both, the young men had some behaviors. So to help the families understand the other child as well, because sometimes incidences will happen. It’s better if the families get along as well. One of the other things we do when we’re looking at pairing people together is it’s not always about them having everything alike, like liking all the same things. If you think when you’re younger and you move into a share house, you’re there for a common reason, you might all be going to university. You might all be studying the same course at university. It doesn’t mean that you’re the same person and you have the same interest in football or stuff like that. It’s more about looking at the best form of cohabitation. So from a support’s perspective, quite often the NDIS will push it from a support’s perspective, but also from a cohabitation perspective.
So are they both really into football? Cool. Are they in rival teams? Yeah. If one’s team’s winning, is the other one going to lose it or is it going to be a nice, healthy banter between them that’ll help them form a friendship? Is one someone that really wants to go to bed early at night and one’s someone that stays up late? If that’s works, how do we position them in the home so that one isn’t keeping the other one awake? Just because they work in the same workplace or they go to the same game service doesn’t mean they have to live with each other as well. So also looking at diversity of supports throughout their lives and throughout their day. And to make sure that it’s not all just sitting with one organization or one person, because in theory, these are people’s individual lives. So you might have a support’s organization doing supports in the home, but everything in the community should sit separately. So it’s their individual life.
One of the things I really like to see is if a person’s already got supports prior to moving into a supported accommodation setting, that they can keep as much of that as possible, especially when you’re dealing with people with neurodiversity, they might have built a really good relationship. They might have the same person that’s been taking them to the theater or to the football or shopping for 10 years. They feel really comfortable with that person. They feel really comfortable in the community with that person and they feel safe. So it’s about keeping that person in their life as well, to keep that baseline for them through the transition and then into the future.
But we also see a lot of in relation to people being discharged from hospitals or when the moving out of the family homes being left a bit late, that it happens quite rapidly. When it happens quite rapidly, the parent process sometimes, the consultation between each participant sometimes gets lost. I’ve seen participants where they’ve literally just been picked up from their family home and then dropped into an accommodation setting based on kind of some clinical reviews. And quite often, they do work out, but quite often, it does disrupt people’s lives. And we want to have as little disruption as possible.
Kristine Christ…: And I agree with you. You need to kind of… It’s like anyone that moves out, they’ve still got the same friends. They’ve still go to the same places. So you do need to keep that, especially with people with a disability.
James Loveday: One of the other big considerations, we quite often get referrals and the support client say they want to live in this general area. I want to live in the Southeast. What does the Southeast mean? There’s a big difference between Craigieburn and Clyde North or Dandenong, Clyde North, this is Southeast. And if their family is in Dandenong, why would you move them 20Ks away? Just because there’s a house, like that’s where their network is. That’s where their local shops are. That’s where their community is. And their community might not physically know their name. Their community might not physically know them, but that bus driver has seen them for years, that lady in the street… So if they’re going down the street in a wheelchair by themselves and they’re trying to get as much independence as possible, if the community’s used to them being there, the community’s going to allow them to be as independent as possible because they understand where that person sits within the society that they’re in.
If you take someone and put them in a totally different location, they have to rebuild their whole community. And it’s not about paid support. It’s not about their family, but it’s about everyone. Like last time we spoke, we were talking about when we decide where homes are and how we try to decide where there might be like a local corner store or something like that. So if someone wants to build capacity to be able to go to the corner store and buy milk, that needs to be able to be built. So we have to think about where things are built for the person as well.
Kristine Christ…: So what’s the process, James, like I come to you now, explain to us, do you meet the family? Meet, obviously, the person that’s wanting to move out? And then what happens with location? How does it briefly… I know it probably many steps to this, but-
James Loveday: Many, many steps in many different ways. So in theory, the way it normally works is that someone’s put up a vacancy for an SDA and then you’ve expressed an interest in it. There’ll be some form of referral form that we filled in with some baseline information around age, sex, gender, maybe not sex, gender depends on the current pronouns and how I’m supposed to be wording that, disability, likes, dislikes, if there’s behaviors, there’s physical needs and then the technical stuff, NDIS funding levels and stuff like that. Then from there, you kind of compare against the vacancies in the current houses. And then if you work, someone gets back and goes, “Hey, that worked out. Let’s look at having some meetings.”
What we also see now, and from our perspective is we might get 20 referrals for one vacancy and none of them are appropriate for that vacancy, because we’re really about making sure that people are compatible, but in that, you can turn around and say, well, is this person in sustainable accommodation at the moment? Yes. Cool. So is this something we could then look at? And it might be that there are two suburbs away from where they really want to be where this house is. And that might have been a bit of a flag for us. So are we able to build a house closer to where they want to be? Yeah, that’s going to take a year, 18 months, but if they’re in sustainable accommodation, that doesn’t matter. You know what I mean? And from a parental point of view, having 18 months to work through it and work with your child is great. Then we can look at pairing against your child or your family member, depending on who it is.
Or we might have, sometimes we might get those 20 referrals and we find three people that would be great together. And instantly we’re like, yeah. So we’re like, let’s get these three people together and just get them to have a chat and see if they get along, how we believe they’re going to get along. And then you might keep that relationship happening for 12 months while the house is built. So that by the time they move in, they’ve already got some friendships. They already have an understanding for each other. It might be, oh, they went bowling together this month and that month they’ve gone out for dinner and they slowly build an understanding of each other. So it’s very different in relation to the NDIS process and getting it in your plan, that’s kind of post having it in your plan and understanding that’s what you want.
You probably need to be dealing with a support’s coordinator instead of an LAC, nothing against the LACs, but support coordinator is going to have way more focused time on finding the right housing and supports for a participant based on how that’s funded. So you really want to be putting in your plan as one of your goals is to live as independently as possible and kind of explaining what that independence looks like. So I want to live by myself. I want to live with other people. I want to live by myself, but I want to be able to bring my pet because we see a lot of that where someone has, it’s not a companion animal, but in theory, it’s their companion animal where they want to live, stuff like that. So putting that into their plan, going to a plan review, doing a home and living assessment as a part of that, going to plan review. And then the NDIS will fund the assessments necessary to get SDA or SIL or ILO or whatever you’re looking at.
And then you go and get those assessments. They’ll come back with kind of real levels within those reports of what kind of support you need, what kind of housing you need based on your individual needs. As a part of that, make sure you do lots of consultation with your OTs around what you are wanting as well, because sometimes what you’re actually wanting can be lost a little bit. And in theory, it’s about the participant at the end. And then once that comes through, you’ve normally already started looking for SDA houses. You’ve already got a general idea, but once you’ve got that in your plan, you can kind of really start looking at, I want that house. I want to move in and then start the conversation with the SDA providers or the housing providers that work for you.
Make sure when you’re looking at housing providers and accommodation providers that everyone’s, in theory, still, an SDA everyone’s offering it, but make sure that organization works for you because every organization’s going to approach it differently. And you might, like I’ve had participants that I’ve spoken to and I’ve said, look, we’re not the right organization. Like I 100% know that long term we’re not going to see eye to eye, but I know this organization over there, I know that I worked with a Greek participant and she just needed a Greek approach. And I was just the wrong person for her to deal with. Like I just knew, I know another lady, another organization. She’s Greek, she’s the intake manager. And she will be… You and her are going to get on a house on fire. And this process are going to be so much better. And from that perspective, I like doing that because in theory, if you look after people, a good work gets out there that you’re looking after. It’s not all about us. It’s about the participant. That’s how I like to approach things.
Kristine Christ…: And do you go back and see these homes later on in like a year later or to see how they’re all going?
James Loveday: So as an SDA provider, we have to regularly go cite the houses and speak with participants. So one from a compliance perspective, because we have to keep that home compliant for the NDIS, but also as we talk a lot about choice and control and NDIS, we have to go back and just meet with participants and make sure they are happy with their current providers, because in theory, SDA and the support should sit completely separate. And the reason that they do that is because in the past, people have moved into a service provider’s workplace. So that’s been the service provider, the direct service providers supplied the house. And if there’s a breakdown in communication between that participant and the support’s provider, quite often, the participants, the person that’s had to move out.
And in theory, that’s not how it should be, so under the system, the plan, and it doesn’t always happen, but the plan is that this is a participant’s home that people work in. So if the relationship isn’t working and we can’t rectify that relationship, maybe we have to look at another support’s provider. Sometimes it’s because the participant… We have participants that are sometimes a bit difficult themselves. And we understand that as the housing provider as well, that it goes both ways, but it’s really about this should be the participant’s home and not a workplace. You work in someone’s home, they don’t live in your workplace. So that’s the reason we keep it as separate as possible.
So we’ve got our relationship manager in Victoria. She literally went out yesterday, met with one of the participants. They baked a cake together. And there’s some pretty pictures of this lovely cake that they’ve made, just to see how she’s going. We put a lot of time into getting these peoples into the home that we want to have regular touch bases with them. So yeah, we try to as much as possible, we try to organize participant catchups if anyone wants to come along. So yeah, we should be touching base as much as possible, but we also don’t want to be embedding ourselves into their lives too much as well, because there’s a fine line sometimes.
Dr. Lisa Interl…: And tell us about some of the design issues, James, that we’ve talked about. Somebody had a trampoline in their [inaudible 00:24:11]-
James Loveday: In their home. Yeah.
Dr. Lisa Interl…: In their home. And I really understand why that would be the case, but what are some of the design things that people have to think about?
James Loveday: Well, firstly, you want to think that this is someone’s home. So you want it to look like a house or a home. You don’t want it to stand out on the street. So houses with ramps out the front or houses where it’s noticeable that this is a disability accommodation. It doesn’t look like every other house in the street. So instantly there’s some stigma around that home. That’s not what we want. Saying that we have some homes that have ramps out the front, and that was because that’s just what ended up happening, because there was a grading in the land. We just could not have it as a level entry. So any home, you really want to look at it having a level entry. So from when you’re walking from that driveway, from the street, that there’s no real step in it.
It’s just nice, smooth coming in. And when you’re walking through the house, you want the house to feel like a home as well. So you should be walking through the house and feeling like, oh, this is like one of those display homes that I’ve walked through in a mainstream. There’s a house I’m working on at the moment. We’re transitioning them from another house. And the house leader walked through the home that we’ve designed for them. She walked through and she was in tears. And this is two young men with autism that are moving into improved liveability home. And she was in tears. And she’s like, “This is actually a home. Like this is a house. These guys have never had a house before.” And I’m like, “Yeah, that’s what it should feel like.” People should walk through and go, ah, this is just like a home. I believe if you’re walking through for your child or you’re a support coordinator, you walk through for your participant and you don’t want to live in the home, you shouldn’t be looking at it.
Kristine Christ…: Good point.
James Loveday: So we have parents walk through and go, “Oh, I’d love to live in here.” Like you can just… They’re already picturing where they’re putting their own furniture kind of thing. And that’s the way it should be. That’s the feeling the home should give you. In relation to the technicalities around what the homes nee, every home needs something different. In theory, for like an improved liveability home, which is kind of the lowest level of SDA, it should really feel like a normal house. It should a hundred percent feel like a normal house. It’s slightly wider doors. It’s got normally got line of sight and line of sound.
So if you’ve only got one support worker in there, you can kind of hear what’s happening in the home for safety purposes, but it should really look as much as possible, like a normal home. Then the next level is I’m going to talk about robust because it’s not the next level, but it’s in a progression of how housing kind of works. So if you’re looking at a robust house, it’s probably the home that’s going to look least like a home to tell you the truth, because in those homes, there is a lot of reinforcement put into them, in relation to walls and doors and windows, but it should still have some form of homely feel. Like you shouldn’t be walking into a house, which is just polished aluminum and clinical. That’s not someone’s home.
Also, if you’re looking at a robust home, you should also be looking at how the areas outside of bedrooms are used and how, if you’ve got two people in the home, how that space can be shared, and you should be able to picture that when you walk through. So if you’re walking through and going, oh, I don’t think my child, someone who likes to pace a lot and you can’t see, it’s a nice straight line for them to pace. It’s something you want to bring up and say, “Look, my child paces a lot. So they’re going to need this. And I’ve noticed that all the bedrooms, like at the end of each pace, they might have some form of stim that makes noise.” So that’s probably going to interrupt the other participant. Is there a way we can look at that from the start? But there’s a lot of more restrictions put into a robust home.
Also, with a robust home, you want to look at the community around them. Like who’s the next door neighbors? Are the next door neighbors going to put up with someone that’s screaming or loud, or tapping on windows and waving at people constantly? Then you go to your full accessible. So a fully accessible home in theory is as it states fully accessible. So when you walk through that home, you shouldn’t see any lifts, everything should be nice and flat, should be nice and wide. So if you’re going through with your wheelchair, you’re not going to knock your knuckles on doors or walls or anything like that. The bathrooms are accessible for you. The sink’s accessible. So in the bathroom, you can get underneath that sink. You can do… You can try to be as independent as possible. That’s the idea of these homes.
When you’re looking at the kitchen, you’re looking at kitchens where there’s space underneath the sink. So you can get your wheelchair underneath there and do work. There’s ovens that are side opening so that you can get right in there and pull stuff out. There’s up down benches. So that if you are in a wheelchair, you can bring the bench down. So you can do food prep. You want to make sure that your washing and dryer in Victoria. Everyone has a dryer in Victoria. I’m from Queensland, no one has a dryer with their clothes line. It’s totally different thing. But the washer and dryer at a level where you can physically use it. The idea is to be as independent as possible.
And that also goes to the close line. If you are in a wheelchair and the clothes line at a normal high, you’re never going to be able to hang out your clothes. And if you’re someone that really likes to hang out your clothes, that’s something you need to have a conversation about. But also if you’re someone that’s never going to hang out your clothes and the close lines at this height, it does need to be at a normal height. So it’s all these conversations you need to have. In theory, a fully accessible participant, they can self-transfer. So in theory, they’re moving themselves from their wheelchair to their bed, wheelchair to commode chairs, wheelchairs to showers under self-propulsion in theory, or if they’re using any kind of assistive technologies, it’s their kind of using the assisted technology to do it.
And then you’ve got the highest level, which is the high phys house. So it’s basically the same as a full accessible home, but it’s got more reinforcement in the roof to be able to use kind of lifting devices and [inaudible 00:29:51], stuff like that. It’s got slightly more accessibility in relation to toilets and bathrooms and stuff like that. We’re also looking at emergency exits of the building to be fully accessible. So to get out the back door and get along the side, if there’s a fire, but once again, you want it to be dead flat. And you also want to look at who’s supporting you within that home and what kind of support model they have, because if you’re not someone that wants to be helicoptered over, you probably don’t want to be in a house that’s like that. The idea of these is to have the most amount of independence as possible in the home. That’s the reason we’re building them is to make people as independent as possible. So you want to make sure that that home works for your independence and not everyone’s independence is the same.
Kristine Christ…: Well, it feels like we could talk to you all day, James, because there’s just so much there. And obviously we’re both in a position where it’s something that we need to look at, but I really appreciate you talking to us again today, and I’m sure we’re going be talking to you again about a lot more, but thank you so much for today. It was awesome.
James Loveday: No worries.
Dr. Lisa Interl…: Thanks, James.
James Loveday: See you, guys.
Speaker 1: Thanks for being part of the Loop Me In community today and joining our conversation on raising children with disabilities. Join us for the next episode on some of your favorite platforms like Spotify and Apple Podcasts. If you would like to support us, please recommend the Loop Me In podcast to your network of parents, carers, and providers. If you would like us to cover a topic or invite a guest to chat, please email us at email@example.com or go to our website at loop-me-in.com.au. If you’ve got any feedback, please let us know so we can improve and cover issues you want.
And of course, if anything in the podcast today has raised concerns for you, you can contact Beyond Blue on 1300 22 4636, or Lifeline on 13 11 14.
Hosts Dr Lisa Interligi and Kristine Christopoulos welcome guest Nicola Millar, Occupational Therapist, to talk about helping young people with disabilities develop skills for life.
Hosts Dr Lisa Interligi and Kristine Christopoulos talk with Dean Cohen, CEO Flying Fox, about the importance of developing independence skills and having fun! Flying Fox provides camp experiences for young people with disabilities.
Rob Hale host of podcast Dad-Ability joins Dr Lisa Interligi and Kristine Christopoulos to explore experiences of dads of children with all types of disabilities. Rob shares about his personal emotional journey with raising his son Leo, and how this brought him to a breaking point. Rob has used this to connect and support other fathers. This is a special conversation not to be missed.
Hosts Dr Lisa Interligi and Kristine Christopoulos chat with Professor Mark Bellgrove about ADHD – what it is, how the condition is diagnosed, gender differences and heritability. Mark is Director of Research at the Turner Institute for Brain and Mental Health, and a Professor in Cognitive Neuroscience at Monash University.
Darrell Dalton, ex nurse for acquired brain injury and senior PGA member, turned running the largest golf program for people with intellectual disabilities.
Not-for-profit Golf Programs Australia Inc is also an affiliate of the Special Olympics program. Darrell is joined by partner Michelle to chat about how the program works, the health and social benefits of playing golf.
Hosts Dr Lisa Interligi and Kristine Christopoulos welcome Melanie Dimmitt -broadcaster, journalist and editor Melanie is a mum of two and author of her book ‘Special ‘ in which shares the raw experience of coming to terms with her son Arlo’s cerebral palsy diagnosis. Melanie also works for HireUp as an advocate and produces a magazine The Blend Lifestyle for the tube feeding community.