Hey how’s it going? I am Asher and this is my story.
I will start with a bit about my life growing up. In the past I lived with my mother Jo, father Tas and siblings. I have had some ups and downs one being the loss of my brother which has had a big impact on my life. I like to talk about him and miss him lots.
I attended Hillcrest School as a college student and finished schooling at the end of 2011 at the age of 18 years old. In 2012 I moved from my home in Huntly to be supported by a residential in Hamilton. While living here I attended a youth service in Hamilton.
During the next 12 months I started to change and there was an increase in the complexity of my behaviours. I started to leave my house without my staff knowledge, mainly at night – I liked to go to phone booths and phone 111. This lead to me being arrested and charged with misuse of a telephone and wilful damage. When I went to court the judge said I could not go back to where I was living and I was urgently referred to ConneXu for support and moved into my current house on Mountain View Drive in April 2013.
My bedroom had reinforced walls, door and windows and the house was alarmed so it was hard to sneak out to go and use a phone, sometimes I still managed to get to a phone booth. I had weekly appearances in court but through communication and a collaborative approach, it was identified that I actually enjoyed this attention and from then on my lawyer represented me in court. With the collaborative approach from ConneXu, police, court, lawyer and local community I was supported to work through some issues and started making changes. Some tough times were had and I tested my support team through various outlets one being pseudo seizures as I liked the attention. My strong support team stood by me and were there for me at my lowest. I become very sick and this world almost lost me, but my team and my family again did all they could to help me through this – even setting my room up like a hospital room because they knew I liked and needed that extra attention.
So enough about the lows I would like to now share the journey to the high life. I share my house with three other men and we all have our own room in a big house with a big section. I get on well with my flatmates and with my team of Community Facilitators who support me seven days a week.
I am building great relationships both with others being supported by ConneXu and my community.
I am supported to be part of a Te Awamutu rugby team as the water distributor at practices and games. Every Thursday after practice I have dinner with the boys. I love sports, am a member of the ConneXu cricket team and I love to play basketball. I am a member of the local gym where I can swim, soak, and sizzle (sauna) or sweat lol……I LOVE IT! I am a big fan of music and can often be found listen to my IPOD or jamming on my guitar.
I now have my own mobile phone that I carry with me and I have a laptop to play games and watch movies. I am an employee of ConneXu with my responsibilities including maintaining and tiding the kitchen area and shredding of most documents. I would love to increase my work load and have started to be supported to have my own micro-business and look at employment options in my community.
Through the collaborative approach from my support network I have been able to grow and learn. am happy, my flatmates are happy and my staff are happy. I am also very happy that I have a famil who love me lots and I see them every second weekend and for special occasions and holidays and my Mum rings and texts. We are getting me set up with Skype.
A big highlight of my last year was that I spent two weeks in Samoa with my Community Facilitator, Maisa. We stayed with his family, I learnt a lot about the Samoan culture, went to lots of island events, went swimming and drank out of a coconut. I had a great time and it is a goal of mine to go back one day.
My Mum and Dad say that they think the ConneXu service and intervention saved me. They’re proud of the person I am today thanks to ConneXu’s unwavering support and dedication.