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#IDPwD Stephen's Story

International Day of People with a Disability is an opportunity to reflect on the accomplishments of people in our community living with a disability. For us, someone who exemplifies this is Stephen.

Stephen has lived with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) as well as sensory issues for the past 30 years. For Stephen, daily tasks like having a shower or putting on a pair of shoes could take him up to two hours to complete. Since engaging with Community Gateway, Stephen has made great progress – and these tasks take him significantly less time to complete.

Community Gateway came into Stephen’s life about 3 years ago, and his caring sister Fee

says that the relationship has been a game-changer. “Stephen was really worrying me for a period. He was staying up late, not taking his medication properly and wasn’t socialising with anyone outside his immediate family.

We tried to employ other service providers but Stephen didn’t engage with them at all. When Community Gateway came along, Stephen took to them like a duck to water! They’ve helped to resolve his medication issues, he goes to bed at a reasonable hour and really looks forward to seeing the Community Gateway guys of a morning. He used to struggle with eating well, but now Community Gateway help Stephen with preparing meals together and he is now eating regular, sustainable meals each night.”

“I think you guys have done amazingly well considering how isolated Stephen was for so long. And if it wasn’t for Community Gateway, I would have burned out, having been caring for Stephen myself for so long.”

Stephen previously struggled with social interactions, but now looks forward to the company of the Community Gateway team, Fiona adds “Even just accepting services and having people in his home was a huge step, but now Stephen knows all of the Community Worker’s names, what cars they drive and he genuinely enjoys making conversation. He’s engaging, and I think that’s really positive”

Stephen’s goals, initially, were to stay living in his home with the skills he needed to do so, and also socialise more with people. He’s making great progress with both goals, but the next steps include incorporating car trips into his routine so he can travel further and expose himself to the wider community.

Our team are delighted with the progress Stephen continues to make, and can’t wait to see what he accomplishes in the future. We’re even more delighted to hear Stephen say, “Community Gateway has changed my life!”

If you or someone you know is looking for support to reach their goals, give our friendly team a call on 1300 657 473.


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