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Empower confidence in young adults with disability

We all love and cherish having a healthy and fulfilling relationship with our families and friends. It is a part of our everyday lives to engage in social interactions with people who are important to us and with those who cross our paths at the shops, at work or at social gatherings. However, social interactions aren’t as easy for everybody to navigate in daily life.

We are all different in how we communicate with each other, social interactions can be intimidating for many. Social cues can be difficult to read and developing friendships and relations as a result can become overwhelming. 

This is even harder for many young adults with disability.
Speech Therapist Claudia is passionate about running a program called PEERS – an evidence-based social skills intervention for young adults interested in making and keeping positive relationships. 

"We need all the help we can get to build the social skills of young adults with disability. There is a huge gap in service delivery across the state. People with disability don’t get enough NDIS funding
to allow them to participate in all the programs and services they need."
Claudia, Speech Therapist.

Watch Raine, Lilly and Andrew's stories

Raine is 24 years old and attends day programs to focus on gaining independence in daily activities and learning strategies to regulate her emotions.

Initially, Raine was a little shy, but as the day went by, she felt more at ease, and we spoke about her and the things she likes to do in her free time.

"I love painting, drawing, listening to music, shopping, coming to Northcott to meet friends."

Lilly is a vibrant and up-beat 20-year-old woman with Down Syndrome. Her focus is on developing her communication and social skills and acquiring memory strategies.

Raine and Lilly attend the same art classes. Still Lilly shared that she didn't feel she could approach Raine or say anything to her, although she remembered meeting her at Northcott.

"I love making colourful scrunchies and sell them with my mum at the local market here in Wagga. My friends like my scrunchies."

Andrew is 20 years old and has autism spectrum disorder. Andrew attends Northcott to develop his communication skills and to learn job skills to become more independent.

Andrew loves gaming and spending time with friends. 

"I find it hard to keep conversations going but having a laugh with friends could be the best medicine!"

Claudia - Northcott Speech Therapist

"Learning social skills is very valuable for people across their lifespan; however, we know that people with disability find it really hard to form meaningful connections and to build those relationships with their peers and acquaintances out in the community."

"Your donation today will make these programs available for the people who need them most especially in rural and remote areas where services are limited."

Join Raine, Andrew and Lilly on their journey to make lasting frienships.

"I find it hard to keep conversations going but having a laugh with friends could be the best medicine!" Andrew, Wagga.

What is your best tip for making friends? Tell us using our form below, and upload a fun photo with your group!
Your tip and photo will be published on the carousel below.

If you post it on your social media, remember to tag us using the hashtags #letsgettogether #northcottinclusion #togetherwecan