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Happy birthday Corey!

Corey and Tanya Hebbard celebrate the strides made in 2018.
Corey and Tanya Hebbard celebrate the strides made in 2018.

TODAY is a special one for Corey Hebbard, as he turns 15 years old and celebrates 12 months of personal development.

Corey lives with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), a condition which impacts development and social skills; it affects one in every 150 Australians.

When Corey accessed the NDIS for the first time in 2018, it set him on a path which has seen him strike out into the community on his own, manage his emotions at school and relate to others.

He finished the school year without a single suspension and capped it off by going Christmas shopping on public transport without supervision; both first-time achievements.

He said getting into the community and checking out the latest technology were some of his favourite things to do since joining the NDIS.

“It makes me feel really good. I feel like one of them (the community),” he said.

“My first time using public transport was a bit hard. But I’ve got a lot better at it and now I feel confident to do it.”

With some of the techniques learned in therapy, Corey has been able to engage with school much more positively as well.

“I’m actually able to listen to the teacher and what they’ve got to say a lot more,” he said.  

Corey’s mother, Tanya, said she had seen great change in her son and learned more about his thought processes through her exposure to the NDIS.

“I work at Bundaberg Special School, so I work with children all the time, but it’s nice to learn something about my son that I can take to work as well,” she said.

“I learned so much about Corey this year, about how he needs to find his space in the world.

“I hope we continue with the NDIS, because I can see the amazing things we’ve achieved on paper.”

NDIS participants work toward goals using a personalised NDIS plan, which is typically reviewed every 12 months. In the Bundaberg region, the Local Area Coordinator for NDIS participants is IWC.

“I don’t know what I would have done without them,” Tanya said.

“At first there was so much paperwork, but I was told once I got through it it would be smooth sailing, and they were right.

“I have always been their number 1 priority when I come in to IWC. I was having trouble with managing my plan, but I was able to contact Dan (my LAC) and it all worked out.”

Anybody seeking NDIS support can call IWC's LAC team throughout the week on 1300 492 492, or visit them between 9am-5pm at 184 Barolin St. 

Drop-in sessions are also held at the Isis Cultural Centre, Childers and at the Youth Activity Centre, Gin Gin, 10am-2pm. 

About the author

IWC's major focus is to improve and support Indigenous and non-Indigenous people, and the vulnerable and disadvantaged people across the Bundaberg and Wide Bay / Burnett.

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Postal address
PO Box 1963
Bundaberg, Qld 4670

184 Barolin St
Bundaberg, Qld 4670
Phone: 1300 492 492
Fax: 07 3009 0478

It’s good to know I can get what I need, not being told when my therapies are, or where I’m going. In the past, that’s how it’s been. As I see it, the NDIS is the only way to go.

Giovanni, NDIS participant