A better start for children with disability
Carers Week 2012 runs from 14th-20th October.
Read the inspiring Indigenous carers stories on Indigenous.gov.au this week and help recognise and celebrate the contribution made by unpaid carers to the people they care for and their communities.
David Dewey, who’s family are part of the Wangaratta Aboriginal community, and his partner, Kat Nicholson are carers for their daughter Keva, who has cerebral palsy.
The couple, who live in Carlton VIC, first learned of Keva’s condition not long after she was born. They quickly found that caring for a child with disability is both expensive and time consuming.
The Australian Government department of Families, Housing, Community Service and Indigenous Affairs developed the Better Start for Children with Disability measure – something Kat and David say has made a huge difference.
“She’s getting better slowly,” Kat said. She’s nearly six and she’s just starting to do up her own buttons and that sort of stuff. It’s slow and she will eventually learn most of it, but at this age we pretty much do it all for her.”
“When we had the original diagnosis, we never thought she’d walk,” Keva’s father David said. “I was nearly in tears when she started taking her first step. She just keeps going forwards and forwards. There’s no stopping her.”
The Better Start funding has helped to cover the cost of Keva’s operations and many of her treatments including botox treatments and the weekly physiotherapy she receives to help her walk.
Keva also has a younger sister and brother, which keeps her parents even busier.
“I try and play with them as much as I can, because Keva can’t get out and about with other kids as much,” said David.
“You just try and make things as fun for her around the house as you can.”
Thanks to the Better Start funding for children with a disability, Kat has been able to stay home with her children fulltime and David has been able to restrict his working hours to just three days a week.
“It’s allowed me to be Keva’s carer, as well as her father,” David said.
“It’s so much better being able to spend time with the children at home and watch all the things that they go through, than working all day and only hearing about it second hand when you get home.Tweet