Claire*, aged 28 from north Brisbane, has wanted a baby for as long as she can remember, and with the support of Open Minds, now feels ready to take this huge step.
Claire lives with Borderline Personality Disorder, Autism, an Intellectual Disability, and PTSD, and engages the Open Minds Positive Behaviour Support team as well as Support Coordination.
Claire and her fiancé were both excited at the prospect of having a baby, but first needed to put a plan in place to ensure they were ready for the challenge.
One of the first steps to be ready to have a baby was to get her body prepared by losing weight.
With the support of her stakeholder group and a dietician, Claire has worked hard to lose a whopping 15kg and is extremely happy with the result.
“I feel so much better now that I’ve lost the weight, and excited that it means my body will cope better with pregnancy. I’ve always wanted to have a baby and I’m feeling like my support team are all helping to set me up for success.
“I had a difficult upbringing myself and so I’ve always had this urge to bring a baby into the world and give it lots of care and love,” said Claire.
The team arranged for Claire to look after a simulator baby doll for a week: a pretend baby that really cries if it needs to be fed, burped, rocked, or changed.
Claire’s interactions with the doll were recorded and demonstrated good results.
Claire’s Open Minds Positive Behaviour Support Practitioner, Alicia, begun working with her in August 2021.
Alicia worked closely with Claire to develop a Positive Behaviour Support Plan to enable her to have a better quality of life and work towards her goals.
Alicia then worked with Claire’s support team to train them on how to put the plan into action and best support Claire.
Alicia explains that the progress Claire has made is remarkable.
“When I started working with Claire, there were a number of behaviours of concern that may have made it difficult to raise a baby. Since we put her plan into action, she has amazed us all and we haven’t seen any of these behaviours in over six months! She’s extremely driven to do whatever it takes to achieve her goal of starting a family,” said Alicia.
Claire also practices having extra responsibilities in her life by owning both a cat and a dog, which she takes out for regular walks as part of her fitness plan.
Next on the list for Claire is to visit a maternity ward to meet and talk with staff about raising a baby.
Find out more about our Positive Behaviour Support service here.
*Client name changed to protect identity