Thanks to the generosity of our supporters, Jackson has benefited from life-changing educational support and is taking the steps towards a bright and successful future!
Like any parents, all Lincoln and Michelle want is for their children to be happy and healthy - to enjoy a fulfilling life with meaningful relationships, work and a place in the community.
Jackson - who has autism - has faced a lot of challenges, but he's now getting the support he needs to make his parents' dream a reality.
“Jackson was such a beautiful, smiley and inquisitive baby but he became increasingly unsettled quite early on,” remembers mum, Michelle.
“Over the next three years it just got worse. He stopped smiling and engaging with people, his behaviour deteriorated, he cried non-stop and didn’t sleep for more than 45 minutes at a time.”
He struggled to cope with his feelings and would show his frustration by hitting, breaking things and repeatedly banging his head on the floor.
This was heartbreaking for his parents as they tried everything to stop it.
With two other children to care for, the family was in survival mode. They became socially isolated, unable to go out and visit family and friends.
Eventually, the family found a doctor who really understood Jackson and who was able to put a name to his struggles - autism. His diagnosis was a big shock but also a relief, as the family finally knew what they were dealing with and could get the support they needed.
Jackson was fortunate to receive early intervention with Aspect.
“When Jackson was diagnosed, he was almost completely non-verbal,” says Michelle. “Our Speech Therapist, Tiff, visited our home and helped us develop ways to communicate with him.”
Another turning point came when Jackson was offered a position at an Aspect school.
At the same time, the family were really struggling financially. With the increasing pressures at home, it was almost impossible for Lincoln to undertake normal work and travel duties, which led to the unfortunate loss of his job.
Thankfully, due to the generosity of our supporters, Jackson was able to receive school sponsorship, which meant he could get the life-changing educational support he needed.
Jackson has come so far since starting at the school.
“He’s still speaking at a 4 year old level but he’s come such a long way, so quickly. I’m overjoyed at the progress he’s making and have no doubt he will continue to improve towards the level of other kids his age,” says dad, Lincoln.
The positive changes in Jackson have meant the whole family has been able to be part of the community again. They can go to the movies, to the park and enjoy the simple things that they weren't able to do for the last few years.
Jackson and his brother, Henry play rugby together and Jackson loves swimming and going to the beach. The activities calm him and have been helpful with developing his language and communication skills.
“A medical professional once told me to expect nothing from Jackson. That he was a lost cause. That I should just focus on my other two children,” Michelle remembers, heartbroken.
“I am so glad that Jackson has proved them wrong.”