Julianne Impiccini with her children, Beni, 3,who has down syndrome, (left) Luca, 9, and Giorgio, 7, thinks that the Gladstone disability services are great.
Julianne Impiccini with her children, Beni, 3,who has down syndrome, (left) Luca, 9, and Giorgio, 7, thinks that the Gladstone disability services are great. Brenda Strong

Services help family cope with young Beni's disability

DANCING, watching Hi-5, exploring and swimming are some of three-year-old Beni Impiccini's favourite activities.

Just like any kid his age, really. And while Beni's disability does make him different, his family says the peppy youngster is just perfect.

Just two hours after Beni was born, his parents Ross and Julianne Impiccini were told their son had Down syndrome.

"I was offered the pre-natal testing but I said no. I suppose it's a very personal decision. The way I see it, these children are people, too," Mrs Impiccini said.

Beni's three brothers, Marcus, 18, Luca, 9 and Giorgio, 7 are all devoted to their youngest brother.

"They are very affectionate; they do look out for him," Mrs Impiccini said.

Luca has a straightforward take on the situation.

"People with extra chromosomes are just like normal people," he said.

Mrs Impiccini said while the family teaches Beni skills every day, he also teaches them things too.

"It's not all doom and gloom; they have really bright personalities," she said.

While the family was initially overwhelmed by the challenges that go with Down syndrome, Mrs Impiccini said they were coping much better now.

Many Gladstone services have supported Beni's physical, intellectual and social development.

More support will come in 2018, when the Federal Government officially launches the National Disability Insurance Scheme in Queensland.

Beni's mum confident of the right help

 

IN BENI'S short life, he has met many helpful people who have and will continue to assist him and his family.

While the Federal Government's NDIS aims to set a certain path for Queenslanders with disabilities, Beni's family is confident he's got the support he'll need.

Queensland will not receive the NDIS until 2018.

But Mrs Impiccini is comfortable with the services Gladstone offers.

She said NDIS was built on the idea that every person with a disability should have an individual program.

"We already have that happening in Gladstone. It's good to know the reality that we really don't have to wait till 2018," she said.

Beni has benefited from a personal case officer to assist in setting development goals. From therapists and support workers to paediatrician and Skype chats to Brisbane specialists, the family has welcomed assistance in Beni's development.



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