Ezio has been diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder. His mum, Selina, is a registered nurse who works the night shift to cover all the families living expenses as well as Ezio's early intervention therapies.
Selina's income has to be divided between public school expenses ($13,000 p.a.), health insurance ($4000 p.a.), rent ($26,000 p.a), not to mention monthly specialist appointments (speech therapy, pysiotherapy, occupational therapy, behavioural therapy). It's no suprises that Selina worries each week how she's going to put food on the table.
The time has finally arrived for the family to apply for their permanent residency however, right now, saving to pay for the application is proving an impossible task.
Having to move back to Arizona is not an option for Ezio. There are only 3 schools that offer support for children with intellectual disabilities and only 10 spots are offerred at each school. The main concern however is for Ezios safety. Police brutality in the States is a known and feared fact. Black people are 3x more likely to be killed by police than white people and 30% of black victims are unarmed. Ezio's limited communication skills and unpredictable behaviour make him incredibly vulnerable to police misjudgement as he grows older. To a stranger on the street it is not obvious that Ezio has an intellectual disability. Selina knows, when he is older, his behaviours could easily be misinterpreted by Police and Selina is not willing to run that risk.
So, what does it mean if Ezio and his family can stay in the country? Firstly Australia gains an incredible asset in Ezios mother Selina. She's a registered nurse specialising in mental health and AOD rehabilitation. A field not for the faint hearted but in great demand for reliable skilled workers.
Selina is also an incredibly valued member of her community, currently volunteering one day a week to volunteer at her local youth service where she drives a team of volunteers to pack and distribute food to 16 families in the community.
Secondly and most importantly, residency ensures Ezio is given every opportunity to reach his full potential. The unsubsidised fees Selina currently pays for his education and health insurance will be able to be spent on more frequent and intensive early intervention therapies. Through the NDIS Ezio will gain access to essential supports he's currently unable to receive due to financial strains on the family. Residency means Ezio will have a chance to live in a community where he is safe and valued for his differences - a basic human right of all children.
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