Skip to content

May 09, 2023

Empower confidence in young adults with disability


Social skills are a valuable and necessary tool for everybody across their lifespan. However, we know that many people with disability find it hard to form meaningful connections and to build those relationships with their peers and acquaintances out in the community.

For many people, social interactions can be intimidating. Social cues can be difficult to read and developing friendships and relations as a result can become overwhelming.

Meet Claudia

Claudia, Northcott Speech Therapist is a passionate advocate for PEERS – an evidence-based social skills intervention program that would support young adults to make and keep positive relationships with others.

“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,” says Claudia.

We spoke with three young adults who attend Northcott day programs in Wagga to discuss how a program like PEERs could support them to form meaningful connections with others.

Meet Raine

Raine 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.”

Meet Lilly

Lilly is a vibrant and up-beat woman with Down Syndrome. Her focus is on developing her communication and social skills and acquiring memory strategies with the support of Northcott services in Wagga.

“I love making colourful scrunchies and sell them with my mum at the local market here in Wagga. My friends like my scrunchies,” says Lilly.

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

Meet Andrew

Andrew, who has autism spectrum disorder, accesses Northcott’s services to develop his communication skills and to learn job skills to become more independent. He 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!” says Andrew.

Let’s get together

Let’s get together to empower Raine, Lilly and Andrew to become more confident by watching their stories today, donating and uploading your best friendship tip. You could also spread the word by sharing their stories with your network. Please feel free to contact Northcott’s Fundraising team for more information 1300 605 993 or [email protected]

Accessibility and Inclusivity

We respect and honour Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on this land and commit to building a brighter future together.

Read more about our commitment to reconciliation

Montrose is now part of Northcott!

Welcome to our new website.

If you have any questions, please speak to your Service Manager, Service Coordinator or call us on 1800 818 286.