Jack’s rock of sup­port

Western Suburbs Weekly - - Special Report - Denise S. Cahill

IN the past 12 months, Rocky Bay has set the Mor­gan fam­ily up with an elec­tronic speak­ing de­vice, epilepsy alarm and work­shops for the whole fam­ily.

The not-for-profit dis­abil­ity ser­vice pro­vides speech and oc­cu­pa­tional ther­apy for 14-year-old Jack, who has autism, epilepsy, dys­praxia and an in­tel­lec­tual dis­abil­ity.

But par­ents Steve and Ava and older sis­ter Lucy (18) are not left out.

Steve, who is Jack’s full­time carer, said the fam­ily had com­pleted short cour­ses with Rocky Bay on how to use the de­vices and had used the respite ser­vice.

Jack was di­ag­nosed with dys­praxia at age three, autism a year later and an in­tel­lec­tual dis­abil­ity when he started school.

The epilepsy di­ag­no­sis came four years ago and un­til re­cently, Jack was sleep­ing in his par­ents’ bed.

“Rocky Bay has set us up with an epilepsy alarm for Jack’s room, so we’re just tran­si­tion­ing him out of our bed,” Steve said.

“But it can take a long time to tran­si­tion.

“Each time he has a seizure, he for­gets what he’s learned and things like pu­berty and tired­ness can af­fect his epilepsy.”

When Com­mu­nity News caught up with the Mor­gan fam­ily, who live in Leem­ing, they were on their way to pick up an elec­tronic speak­ing de­vice to re­place Jack’s pod books.

“In the morn­ing, if he wants toast, he can just point to the pic­ture… it re­duces frus­tra­tion and be­hav­iour,” Steve said.

With sup­port from the Na­tional Dis­abil­ity In­sur­ance Scheme and Rocky Bay ser­vices, the fam­ily goal is for Jack to move into a shared home and live in­de­pen­dently.

Www.com­mu­ni­typix.com.au d487076

Fam­ily love: Jack Mor­gan (cen­tre) with his sis­ter Lucy Mor­gan (left) and par­ents Ava and Steve Mor­gan. Pic­ture: An­drew Ritchie

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