If anyone were to ask where 13-year-old Jason and his Disability Support Worker, Michelle are on any given afternoon in Broken Hill, chances are they are in the games room playing pool or out feeding the birds in the courtyard,
“Some of my favourite things to do are to go into the games room and play pool with Michelle… I like to spend time with Michelle a lot and we go a lot of places which makes me happy, as well as her,” Jason says.
And after sitting with them for only a moment, you can see the strong and trusting relationship Jason and Michelle share; one which has been building over a period of eight months when we meet,
“I’ve been working with Jason for eight months now,” Michelle said, “And he’s a good kid – he opens up to me a lot and will talk about his problems to me. I really enjoy his company just as he likes mine, I suppose.”
But amongst playing a bit of 8-ball and debating who is, in fact is the better pool player, Michelle has been able to inspire Jason to think about what he might like to do with his future, and let us tell you, he has some ideas!
“When I grow up, I’d like to be a gamer and maybe a baker, because I like to cook a lot of bread and maybe own some animals, like some birds.” Jason says.
“But I also love dinosaurs… my favourite dinosaur is a hybrid called Scorpios Rex from Jurassic World Camp Cretaceous.”
And Michelle notes the changes she sees in Jason over the months she has been working with him, quoting that he has turned into a wonderful young man.
“Jason has grown into a great young man. He is learning to control his emotions, which I like to think I have helped with. At the end of the day, I just try my best with him, and I just like to see him open up, which he does do with me.”
But while Jason and Michelle continue with discussing dinosaurs, feeding birds, and even chatting about the latest episode of Outback Opal Hunters, the debate still continues – who in fact is the better pool player? Only time will tell…