Kate Morris, Speech Pathologist in our Newcastle team supports many people with disabilities in the Hunter New England area. But Dave’s journey is one that she’s particularly proud to be a part of.

Dave’s story is a great example of what a person with a disability can achieve when they have the right supports around them to support them to achieve what is important to them. With hard work, determination, and a fabulous support network of family, therapist, and support workers, Dave is developing his speech, language and communication skills, living independently, and working five days a week in his own lawn mowing and garden maintenance business.

Dave has owned his lawn maintenance business for several years and has recently transitioned to working in it five days a week. He has support workers to help him in his work environment and assist him with marketing, quoting, taking bookings, money management, and with some daily activities.

Kate has been supporting Dave over the past 15 months to achieve his goals of developing his communication skills. Dave wanted to be able to introduce himself to his customers, order his own morning tea at a local café when in between jobs, use technology to check his voicemail messages and ask questions to keep a conversation going.

Incorporating therapy into Dave’s life

With evidence showing that therapy works best when delivered where the person regularly spends their time, Kate and Dave have incorporated his weekly therapy sessions into his daily routine. Therapy sessions have been held at places such as Dave’s work, his local café, at the shops, or at the bank.

Dave and Kate practice conversations Dave would have with customers such as introducing himself or asking for payment after he’s completed a job. They also rehearse how he would order his morning tea at a local café or what he would say to someone when meeting them for the first time.

Achieving his goals

With regular therapy sessions and Dave’s hard work, he can now introduce himself to customers, have small conversations with them and collect payment. He can follow the instructions and directions of his support workers in the work environment, order his own morning tea and have more meaningful conversations with his friends.

Dave’s support workers and family are actively involved in assisting him to embed the skills he learns in his therapy sessions into his everyday life. This has really helped Dave to build his capacity and has been an important factor in Dave’s ongoing progress.

“It’s been wonderful to see Dave’s confidence grow as he achieves his communication goals. He’s become more capable of following instructions, letting others know what he is thinking, and holding a conversation with family and friends. His family tell me that they have really noticed a positive difference in Dave’s ability to communicate with them.

The great thing about Dave’s story is that with a fabulous support network, Dave’s achieving goals in other aspects of his life. Owning his own business has allowed him to have a valued life role, be independent and earn his own money. He has been able to buy a ute, trailer and ride on lawn mower to use in his business.” said Kate.

To find out more about how one of our therapists can support you to achieve your goals, please call 1300 179 131 Mon to Friday 8 am – 6 pm or complete our online form and we’ll be in touch.

People in the Newcastle and Lake Macquarie area looking for lawn mowing and yard maintenance can contact Dave at dave.prince@bigpond.com or on 0429 052 995.