Six-year-old Connor receives support from our disability services team in South Australia.

After being diagnosed with Global Developmental Delay and Autism Spectrum Disorder, his parents felt overwhelmed. 

Connor found interacting with his peers challenging and would often have meltdowns. 

“Educators at the kindergarten flagged a couple of things, which deep down I sort of had an idea about,” his father, Liam, recalls. “It was quite daunting. Connor is our only child. It’s the first time we’ve had to deal with anything of this nature at all and obviously all we want is the best for Connor.” 


Collaborating with The Benevolent Society

Since Connor began occupational therapy with The Benevolent Society in 2021, there’s been a marked difference in his behaviour and communication skills. 

Together with his occupational therapist Pat, the family discussed Connor’s needs and formulated a plan to achieve their goals. 

“Our service is really flexible and adaptable for the clients,” Pat says. “It’s such a collaborative process in creating goals with our clients, creating goals with families and teachers. There’s never one linear approach to providing services and support for our families.” 

Pat is part of The Benevolent Society’s dedicated Fly In Fly Out team who travel bi-weekly from Adelaide to Mount Gambier to provide crucial disability support services to the local community. Connor’s family are thankful their location didn’t hinder access to the services Connor needed to live his best life.

Connor and Pat
Connor and Occupational Therapist, Pat.

“They went above and beyond to actually provide services to us in a rural setting that we would not have been able to access for probably three, four years,” Liam says. “Our journey with The Benevolent Society for the past 12 months has been nothing short of what I believe to be the best of the best.” 

Allied Health Assistant, Hayley, has also been helping Connor with his goals. “When I first started with Connor, he was not thrilled to have me there,” she says. “He would engage, but it took a little bit to get warmed up and to want to do activities that he didn’t probably enjoy all that much. But I think over time, we’ve managed to tailor it well enough to help him feel empowered to do those activities, to feel like he can participate and even if he doesn’t get it right the first time, then we just try again.” 

Connor and Hayley
Connor with Allied Health Assistant, Hayley.

Leaps and bounds 

Today, Connor is continuing to thrive and is progressing in leaps and bounds. “He’s transitioned to school – originally, we were hoping for a shortened school week, just having a couple days at school but we’re at the stage where he’s there five days a week,” Pat says. “I think it’s just a real true testament to how far Connor has come. Being so confident around his peers and being confident with his teachers and himself. 

Connor Smiling
Connor is progressing in leaps and bounds.
“Their (The Benevolent Society's) patience in dealing with Connor has been fantastic, to the point where Connor looks forward to his visits and his sessions with his therapists,” Liam says. “Connor enjoys his time with Benevolent, and I think that’s reflected in the results that we’re achieving. 
“The Benevolent Society’s help and assistance in navigating what we need to navigate as parents with children of special needs is wonderful.” 
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.