Shandell navigates a new life with the help of Disability Plan Services

May 31, 2021

For most people who have a disability, they are usually diagnosed as a child or a young adult. However, this is not the case for everyone.  

Shandell has been living with autism for all her life but was only diagnosed at the age of 38. She began as a client of Disability Plan Services ever since her first NDIS meeting just two years ago.   

Navigating her new life with a disability has not been easy, but Shandell is determined to work with Disability Plan Services to find the support she needs, better understand her disability and live life to the fullest. 

Shandell 1

Shandell’s journey 

Shandell showed symptoms of autism from an early age. At school, she remembers feeling different to her fellow classmates. These feelings stayed when she went into the workforce. 

Before she was diagnosed with autism in 2019, Shandell worked as an English as a Second Language (ESL) teacher for about 10 years. Not knowing she had autism, Shandell found her job really difficult and often felt burnt-out. Shandell suffered from chronic fatigue, and had to take months off work at a time to recover. It was not until she began seeking another role with an employment consultant that she realised she had symptoms of autism. 

“My employment consultant used to talk about his daughter who had autism, and her symptoms sounded exactly like what I had,” said Shandell.

“So, I went to my doctor and she referred me to my psychiatrist who eventually confirmed that I have autism.”

After she was diagnosed, Shandell stopped looking for work to focus on managing her disability. In her first NDIS meeting, Shandell’s Local Area Coordinator (LAC) recommended that she work with Disability Plan Services, and Shandell hasn’t looked back since. 

New to the NDIS, Shandell said that one of the best things about Disability Plan Services is having her plan broken down to her by Jack, her NDIS disability plan manger.

“Jack is incredibly knowledgeable and patient and explains my plan in a way that I can understand,” said Shandell.

“He has been incredibly supportive in terms of helping me prioritise my funding to ensure I am getting the most out of my plan.” 

Shandell and her partner, who also has an NDIS plan, are both receiving support from support workers and cleaners. Shandell was also seeing a psychologist but is currently seeking a new one who specialises in autism. 

Shandell has good days and bad days but having the extra support to do little things like buy groceries or cook meals has meant she has more time to focus on herself. She has even noticed she has more time to focus on creative projects, like embroidery and stitching. 

Woman stitching

Although she is taking things one step at a time right now, Shandell still has big goals for the future. 

“It’s challenging at the moment, but I am just focusing on getting my energy back,” Shandell said. 

“My immediate goal is to find a psychologist who specialises in autism, so that I can work on understanding myself and my disability better. Jack is also helping me apply for funding for support coordination.

“In the long-term I would really like to work again. I love fashion, so my goal is to work in fashion in a way that is manageable for me and my disability.” 


How Disability Plan Services can help you or your loved one

If you or your loved is like Shandell and is new to the NDIS, then you might also benefit from having your plan managed by a registered NDIS provider, like Disability Plan Services. 

Our experienced support team knows how the NDIS works, so we can work closely with you and provide personalised recommendations to help you achieve your goals. We take the time to get to know you and understand what you want and need so you can rest assured that we’re always doing what’s best for you.  

At Disability Plan Services, our vision is of a community where everyone has equal opportunities, choice and control over the disability support and services they receive.

If you’re interested in learning more about NDIS plan management with Disability Plan Services, contact us today by clicking here.