International Day of People with Disability (IDPwD) is held on December 3 each year. It’s a chance to increase awareness, understanding and acceptance of people with disability. 

This year’s theme is, ‘Transformative solutions for inclusive development: The role of innovation in fuelling an accessible and equitable world’. Ultimately, it's about challenging the way we think about disability and helping grow a more inclusive community for the 4.4 million Australian people with disability. 

Meet this SA family of 3 | Tara, Mia & Logan 

Parenting is a challenging yet rewarding job. Sole carer Tara from Mount Gambier, South Australia, has advocated for her two children, both diagnosed with intellectual disabilities and Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), from day one.  

“Life was never meant to be easy. But every day, I am grateful for the blessing I was given with Mia and Logan. I certainly wouldn't change it for the world,” says Tara. 

Mia, aged 11, and Logan, eight, can find day-to-day activities such as getting dressed, eating dinner or getting to school overwhelming.   

“Mia struggles with routine changes and losing control of her environment, while Logan needs to control every aspect of it,” Tara explains. 

Unable to regulate his emotions, Logan, who has an additional diagnosis of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), was often prone to emotional outbursts.  

“It got to the point that with the behaviours both kids were displaying, they were becoming quite physical and restrictive practices were needed,” she says. 

The family catches their breath 

In 2021, Tara began looking for more support and found The Benevolent Society on a recommendation. She was then introduced to Tanya, the Behaviour Support Practitioner who would help make each day a little lighter for their family.  

To reduce the children’s behaviours of concern, Tanya turned her attention towards helping Mia and Logan recognise the emotions behind them. 
“Quite often, people with disability don't have the same level of self-awareness within the body as what you and I may,” says Tanya. 

Getting the children to slow down and check in with how they felt in their bodies - ‘Are my muscles tight? Is my tummy hurting?’- was a powerful intervention Tanya used to help them understand the signals indicating they need to stop and breathe. Tara began to see the positive impact at home. 

“In that moment when one or both of the children are feeling dysregulated, just to give them that skill of saying, ‘Oh, hang on. Let's just stop and breathe for a minute’, might give them that split second to disrupt their thoughts and bring them back into the moment,” Tara says. 

Positive steps forwards

Mia and Logan are now achieving new goals. Together, as a family their future is starting to look brighter.  

“We're seeing a few little, tiny steps forward which gives us a bit of light at the end of the tunnel, a bit of hope. We’re just looking forward to what's going to come next,” says Tara. 

And on thinking back to how things used to be for her South Australian family-of-three, these little changes have had a huge impact on her quality of life and wellbeing. With the right support, Tara’s tenacity and her children’s determination – the family is thriving.  

To find out more about how The Benevolent Society can help you, please call our Support Centre at 1800 236 762 or view our Services & Programs page.