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Everyday Life Stories

Mikhail’s True Talents Shine

Twenty-two-year-old Mikhail is a truly creative soul. He has a passion for all things design, but he loves organising grazing spreads the most.

Mikhail first accessed Everyday Independence support in February 2021. He has selective mutism, an anxiety disorder that impacts his ability to feel safe and confident in social situations. When Everyday Independence Speech Pathologist Darien and Occupational Therapist Kirsten first met Mikhail, he rarely left home.

Darien and Kirsten knew that Mikhail was full of great ideas – he needed some support in expressing them and having the confidence to do so. They quickly began planning the therapy strategies so that Mikhail could communicate his needs and thrive.

Kirsten focused on capacity building with Mikhail. Together, they explored ways to stay safe in community settings; for instance, Mikhail learned about catching a train. They also worked on building a meaningful everyday routine so that he could be more prepared to access the community.

Darien organised for a communication App to be downloaded to Mikhail’s phone. Darien arranged for Habit Coach Avani to support him in becoming more familiar and comfortable with the App, and in turn, being able to independently communicate in the community.

Achieving Goals

The app became a game-changer for Mikhail – he took a giant leap in independent tasks like grocery shopping and could use the App if he needed assistance in the store. To further build confidence and skill and enable Mikhail to engage in meaningful activity, Darien suggested the idea of Mikhail organising a grazing spread for the Western Melbourne Everyday Independence team – Mikhail was totally on board with the idea. He was so excited to showcase his skills! 

Mikhail first met with the social committee in early May, providing him with a budget and dietary requirements. Mikhail used his App to gather this information and prepare for the grazing spread.  He then went to the shops with Darien to buy grocery items and table decorations.  

When the big day arrived, Mikhail could use his App to meet and chat with the team. He loved getting to know them and showing photos of his awesome previous grazing spreads. It’s safe to say that the Western Melbourne team were super impressed with Mikhail’s spread. The feedback was that Mikhail had ‘nailed it,’ and they ‘couldn’t wait to do it again.’ The team weren’t the only one impressed with Mikhail’s efforts. His family were so happy for him and could fully recognise his true potential. Darien is so proud of Mikhail and his progress and pictures big things to come now that a door has been opened.

Non-verbal communication is not a barrier to working in your dream job. I am truly so proud of Mikhail and the opportunities I could provide him with at Everyday Independence. This may well and truly be the start of a business venture for him.

Speech Pathologist, Darien

Are you Ready to Achieve Positive Life Change?

Speak to our Access team on 1300 179 131 or complete an online form, and we’ll be in touch to learn more about how we can assist you or someone you care for.

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