Meet Nate for World Down Syndrome Day 2024

To mark World Down Syndrome Day (WDSD) this year, we caught up with one of our participants, Nate. He is 18 years old and graduated from high school last year.

This year, Nate is participating in the Access Guides Sponsored Internship, where he is currently learning the skills of small motors, how to be a barista, and Creative Industries Music. Nate is enjoying learning about music and is creating a new song themed around the villains from Shrek including Lord Farquaad, Prince Charming, Fairy Godmother, and Rumpelstiltskin.

Around the house, Nate helps out by doing chores including recycling, the dishes, and laundry on occasion. Nate is a huge fan of the film Shrek, with Donkey being his favourite character. He enjoys playing the soundtrack in the car when he’s with AYS staff. He even dances in the car by putting his hat backward and bopping his head to the beat.

In his spare time, Nate enjoys eating sour lollies, playing on his Xbox or Nintendo and is currently enjoying playing Roblox on his iPad. One of his hobbies is cooking, and his signature dish is chicken parmigiana with chips on the side. When asked if he has veggies or salad, Nate cheekily replied, “I don’t eat salad, I’m not a rabbit.”

Nate’s parents, Geraldine and Patrick, share that AYS has done a lot for Nate along the way. This includes helping look after his NDIS plan and paying NDIS accounts. Nic and the Employment Support Team provide support to Nate at his internship, including the study and practical side. AYS helped Geraldine learn more about Centrelink and gave helpful advice to assist with filling out forms.

His Support Coordinator, Chris, helps with purchasing and putting a new NDIS plan in place when it’s time. Chris is only a phone call away; he offers support to Nate’s parents, and he is very knowledgeable about what is available and what will help Nate so that he gets the best support possible. Geraldine and Patrick enjoy catching up with Chris, he has amazing insight about what is available to help their son. “Chris coordinates what Nate needs with me. My family and I are very grateful for all AYS do with Nate” adds Geraldine.

This year’s WDSD theme is End The Stereotypes.
People are all different.
Each person with Down Syndrome is different.
Each person with an intellectual disability is different.
We don’t all act the same way or like the same things.
We each have our individual identity, interests, likes and dislikes, gifts and talents, just like
everyone else.
Having Down syndrome or an intellectual disability is just one part of who we are!
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