Tales from two: Petra and Lubna

By Petra Ohrazdova, Lubna Jajo and Natalia Carozzi, 20 November 2019 , Comments

Petra lives in Stanhope Gardens, NSW with her husband and two children, Jeffery and Christopher. Jeffery has  autism and is now benefitting from the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS). Petra met Northcott ECEI coordinator Lubna after waiting a year for an initial meeting with a different service provider.

Petra: When Jeffery was two years old, he had some behaviours of concern that took us to have a consultation with a paediatrician. Soon after, we visited a psychologist, but because he was very young we couldn’t get a diagnosis. We started the process to apply for NDIS. However, we were on the waiting list for one year and Jeffery didn’t have any support during that time. We didn’t know a diagnosis is not necessary to get NDIS funding for very young children and I believe not many parents know that.

In September 2018, just by chance, I found out that I could work on my NDIS planning with Northcott, and that’s when our lives changed. We had a first phone conversation with our assigned ECEI coordinator Lubna, and then we had a meeting at home because Lubna wanted to make things easier for me. After things got moving with Northcott, we started therapies and Jeffery was diagnosed with autism at Westmead Children’s Hospital. 

Two months after my first contact, our plan was approved and we had the funding we needed. After waiting for so long, I couldn’t believe things were working so fast and it took me a bit of time to get up to speed with everything!

Lubna kept in touch regularly; she was the driving force for everything. When the funding was approved, she came to our home again and explained how the system works and what my next steps were.

Jeffery is benefitting from the behaviour supports included in his plan; he has had amazing improvements this year. He now brushes his teeth, he learns calming techniques, how to make friends and is developing his social skills. He enjoys this support and is thrilled by his own progress.

We are now able to do things we weren’t able to do before and I feel more confident in supporting Jeffery.

Lubna is very precise, never makes a mistake, and has everything ready the next day. I appreciate the details such as never misspelling any of our names.

I used to be the person that has everything ready, but not anymore. With Jeffery and my younger two-year-old Christopher, it gets difficult to keep up with everything. Having Lubna checking in periodically to see how Jeffery is going and making sure I have the information I need and understand it, is exactly what I need.

I keep saying Lubna is my angel. I have a friend who was struggling with her son, and I said to her she needed Lubna! And Lubna supported her as well.

Lubna: I met Petra and Jeffery one year ago. Petra was waiting on a response from another provider and was transferred to Northcott ECEI where I was able to assist her with the Access Request Process.

This year, it was time to review Jeffery’s plan, and Petra wanted to make sure I was going to work through the review with her.

Relationships are really important and the key to that is being able to listen and hear what the families have to say and including that in the plan for positive and encouraging outcomes. Families want to know that they have someone to trust and to provide them with options and supports they need in order to have their needs and wants met.

Petra really appreciates that I always dedicate time to Jeffery and the family, talking to him and also having a sense of what he needs first hand. They are a wonderful family and I’m very lucky to have been able to work with them and support them on this journey. I look forward to seeing what the future has in store for them.

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