Family works to give Khiara a normal life



KHIARA Garafalo is a special five-yearold.

When she was just three months old, parents, Pietro and Shaylene knew something was wrong, but it wasn't until almost a year later they were told their precious little girl had autism.

'We kept going to doctors and specialists but they told us there was nothing wrong and that as first-time parents we were just being over cautious,' Mr Garafalo said.

Now the family is waiting to get an EpiPen, a device which can give Khiara a shot of adrenaline to treat her allergic reactions, but the Garafalos are struggling to find a supply in Gladstone.

'We were told it would take up to one month, so if anything happens to her in the next four weeks and we don't have it we could lose her,' Mr Garafalo said.

He said the family was frustrated with the system, but their daughter remained a happy five-year-old despite all that she had been through.

'It's not Khiara that's stressing us, it's the system ... the government has a lot to answer for because they're turning their backs on disabled people,' he said.

Mr Garafalo said an average day at home included constant supervision for Khiara and the family routine revolved around her.

'We don't have much of a social life, but if we do go out, Khiara is in a wheelchair to restrict her and because she's quite unstable on her feet,' he said.

Mr Garafalo said he wanted his daughter to be able to be "just like a normal kid'' and go to a regular school with children her own age.



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