My name is Margaret. My husband and I are carers for Joe (born in 1979) and Justin (born in 1983). They are the only ones of our five sons to be still living at home with us.

Justin

Both Joe and Justin were born with a rare genetic condition which causes them to be severely intellectually disabled. They also have some minor physical disabilities and problems with vision. They attended special schools until they were 19 years of age, then at a community participation program run by AC Foundation at Crowle Home. Here they continue to learn and very much enjoy the different activities and the company of their friends.

Joe

Joe and Justin can walk and talk but they cannot read or write. They are great to have around as they are good natured and have a good sense of humour. They love their music and videos. Joe is great with his guitar. They are both happy and well adjusted young men despite their disabilities and we love them dearly, as do all our family. We are very proud of their efforts and achievements.

However our boys require a great deal of care. Their father and I bathe and dress them and we also need to shave them and clean their teeth. We share trips to and from Crowle Home and take them shopping or wherever they need to go. We are thankful for respite as it is of great help to us, but we are getting older. I am 58 years of age and my husband 62. We are getting very tired and worry a great deal about the future.

Justin at Music Therapy

We don’t want our boys one day to face the trauma of being separated and we want to be able to support them when they move to their next home. We don’t want this move to be when we are very old or one or both of us are sick.

To continue to thrive and have happy and meaningful lives Joe and Justin will always need to be cared for , but they also need to stay in the area they grew up in and are familiar with – where they can continue to have the support of their family and friends. Otherwise the future could become very difficult for them as they are sensitive and very vulnerable.

My husband and I have joined RASAID because we believe that a cluster style accommodation in Ryde as proposed would be the right one for our boys.