Skills, education and training

Natasha's story

Single mum Natasha knew something was up with her eldest child, who was seven years of age and finding school a challenge.

She realised that fleeing a life of domestic and family violence was taking a toll on him and his younger sister, but her gut instinct was telling her something else was going on.

“He was finding it hard to study and I had to pick him up all the time because he couldn’t stay at school. He was very difficult to deal with every day. It was affecting his future,” Natasha said.

“I knew something had to be done quite quickly about a diagnosis. Without it, he wasn’t getting the support he needed at school. At the time, I didn’t know anyone in Logan. We had moved up from Ballina, so I had no family or friends. I didn’t know where to go for help.”

“YFS helped me to communicate with his school so we could get his diagnosis sorted. They helped me out so much, especially when it came to appointments with specialists and the like.”

Natasha is a client of our Sure Steps program, which offers family coaching to help parents in social housing to build plans that give their children the best possible start in life.

As soon as they had made contact, the Sure Steps team supported Natasha and her son to attend a paediatric assessment. The results confirmed Natasha’s thoughts:
Her son is on the autism spectrum and has ADHD.

“It was such a relief to have someone from YFS come around and have a chat about the struggles I was facing. I realised I was no longer alone,” Natasha said.

“Having my son properly diagnosed and on the right medication has taken a huge load off my shoulders. He’s changed so much. He’s staying at school and he is
no longer so out of control. Watching him develop some really great friends and seeing them all happy when they come over to our house shows he’s really settled in well.”

Carolyn is a worker in our Sure Steps program who has been supporting Natasha in recent times. “While we’ve provided Natasha with quite a bit of wrap-around support, she has impressed us all by expressing some really great aspirations for herself and her family,” Carolyn said.

“She’s now aiming to study a Diploma of Nursing so she can get a job in the field and become more financially independent.

“She’s also refining her parenting skills and continues to build strong relationships with her children, which involves supporting her children to ensure they gain the chance to live their best lives.”

Natasha added: “I also want to help people in my position to change their lives around. I have empathy for what they’re going through. My message is that you can come out of domestic violence on the other side, even if you’re facing challenges with a child on the autism spectrum.”