Mel's story...

When the world was thrown into chaos by the Coronavirus pandemic, the echoes of it were felt profoundly in the Autistic community. Mum to three autistic children, Mel was well-aware of the potential consequences on her children’s lives when regular routine was turned on its head.

Mel set to work quickly. Removing her children from school, Mel elected to receive work from the school ahead of time so she could set up a new daily routine for each of her children. Each day is meticulously structured and overseen to ensure activities run smoothly.

These new routines haven’t fallen on Mel alone. She says the family “may not have survived” this time if it weren’t for the support her children receive through the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS). Her children’s support workers are an integral part of the weekly routine and allow Mel time to plan out future activities.

When the chance for a break arises, Mel has been turning to “colouring by numbers” books. Being instructed which colours to use allows Mel’s mind a moment of much-needed quiet and distraction from the demands of her daily decision-making.

Mel’s message is simple - ask for help when you need it, “When you don’t have a break, everything is insurmountable.”

“It’s ok to complain, and if you’re refused something – ask for evidence as to why.”