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Building a future: Amanda's story

Desperate, alone and with 2 young children to raise – one of them autistic – this woman finds the strength and support she needs to turn 3 lives around.


I have worked since I was 16 and waited a long time to start a family. At 40, I finally felt I had met the right person, so I quickly married and had 2 beautiful children.

I was never desperate for a husband or children, so imagine my surprise when I felt as if my life had never been so wonderful as when I had my husband and babies.

Shattering news

When my son Justin turned 2 we were given the shattering news that he was autistic. How could our beautiful boy have something wrong? What caused it? What would his future hold? 

Our world felt like it was falling apart. Our daughter was 8 months old at the time and her future was also a concern.

Things get worse

My only objective was to help Justin. I rang wherever I could think of in the hope of finding him help. 

In the meantime, my husband decided family life was not for him and he promptly left. The woman who had supported herself since 16 was now on a pension with 2 babies.

I was alone and desperate.

A recommendation provides some light

A mother of another autistic child told me The Infants’ Home at Ashfield was great. With nothing to lose, I rang and was told to come in for an interview.

I met 2 people from family services. In the middle of my confusion and anxiety these women seemed like a lifeline.

The Infants’ Home accepted Justin.

Beyond the job description

I cannot express how much of a support The Infants’ Home staff was at this time to me and my children. I realise it is their job to help children and families, but these people went far beyond their job description.

The interest, support, understanding and practical help these people gave me is immeasurable.

What you do makes a huge difference in people’s lives. I cannot thank you all enough.

My son is doing well, my daughter is great and I am happy – in no small part because of you and your work.

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