My name is Maria I have a daughter, Grace, who has an intellectual disability.

Grace was born in 1981 with no disability at all but when she was 17 months old she had a Febrile Convulsion and then had a lot more, which caused a lesion on her brain. At that time I had a son that was 2 years older than Grace and was pregnant with my third child.

Grace (at right) witrh Sarah

Grace was on medication for 2 years which had side effects. I needed to take her to speech therapy as her speech had been affected. Grace was and still is a loner and is quite happy with her own company.

Grace attended Holy Spirit Catholic School where she was in a special class for children with an intellectual disability. She went to Peter Board for high school also in a special class.

When Grace was 13 years old her father died, which was devastating for the whole family, she completely blocked it out, which in later years caused her to have a complete mental breakdown. The loss of my husband as you can imagine was very hard to cope with not only for the financial support but the emotional one. I had 3 children to raise and support all on my own. I also had to go back to work which was very difficult.

Grace attended Tafe courses in food and hospitality she did work experience at Johnson and Johnson café.

Job Support found her a job in a preschool where she worked for 2 years, she was very happy there. Unfortunately because she had no qualifications she lost her job there but was able to get a job as a childcare assistant at a place at Killara where she stayed for another 2 years.

In 2003 Grace had a mental breakdown and so was unable to work, she was at home for 6 months she had to go to a lot of doctors. She started at a workshop at Marrickville run by The Crowle Foundation as she was no longer able to cope working in open employment.

Grace has sleep apnoea and needs to have a machine which is making a big difference.

She wants to have a place of her own to share with her friends and be a bit more independent which is why the Rasaid model would be perfect for her. She knows the other families and is comfortable in their company, and it would give me peace of mind.