Joshua is an adventure seeking, outdoors loving young man who enjoys spending time with his animals (a dog and a chicken) and his family (his Mum, Dad and two sisters). Joshua also loves to make new friends and try new things on Cahoots’ camps. While he is on camp, he most enjoys swimming activities, drawing and sharing stories about his chickens with other participants.
Living with autism, touretts, OCD and anxiety means however, that every day he and his family face unique challenges. Joshua’s anxiety and his disabilities lead to behaviours that are very repetitive and sometimes harmful, like throwing himself and banging his head against walls. He also becomes overwhelmed by busy environments with lots of people. As a result, even a visit to the shops becomes a challenge. Joshua’s mother works during the day while he is at school and his Father works night shifts. Unfortunately though, Joshua has trouble sleeping, meaning that his parents will only ever get four or five hours of sleep a night and amongst caring for their son, working and taking care of their other two daughters they have very little time to rest or catch up on life.
When Joshua comes on a camp with Cahoots he knows that he is coming somewhere safe and over time, he has built a trusting relationship with our volunteers and facilitators. While he struggles from separation anxiety, this opportunity helps him to grow in independence, to make new friends and to be included in new opportunities in the community. His time on camp also means the world to his family. His Mum and Dad are able to sleep through the night, catch up on the everyday tasks that we take for granted, like being able to just use the vacuum. Most importantly, they get to spend quality time with their other two daughters.
For the time being, Joshua does not receive any funding from the NDIS (National Disability Insurance Scheme) meaning that he and his family are solely dependent on the generosity of people like yourselves. A weekend camp with Cahoots costs $2,585 to attend meaning that every bit really does count.
Leona, Joshua’s Mum says, “ Any help is so greatly appreciated. Joshua really enjoys Cahoots’ camps and his participation is really important. We would be really grateful for him to have the funding to go on the next camp.”