How Tom moved into his own apartment

When Tom moved into his own apartment, it was the culmination of many years of visioning and planning.

During our November 2023 Imagining Home Peer Group meeting, Helen Neale joined us from Adelaide to tell us how her son Tom recently moved into his own place.

Tom is in his mid-twenties. He owns a lawn-mowing business called Ground Control by Major Tom and enjoys a rich and interesting life.

Tom having his own place has always been part of Helen’s vision. She explains how she wanted to be heavily involved in supporting him to move because if his family didn’t take on this role now, someone else might have to in the future.

In her presentation, Helen explains how

  • it was important that Tom could transition slowly into his new home and how their family worked together to make this possible.
  • the brilliant resources available for free on the My Home My Way website became available at the perfect time
  • they built up Tom’s confidence around moving using the principles of Social Role Valorisation
  • they shared his vision with all the important people in his life and created a Think Tank of support
  • they found Tom’s apartment
  • they supported Tom to move into his own place
  • they developed criteria and advertised for a housemate.

Helen Neale – Community Living Project, SAPortrait of Helen Neale

Helen is Tom’s mum as well as his current social secretary! She has always had high expectations for Tom and hasn’t let the narrow-mindedness of others change his life trajectory.

Helen now works for the Community Living Project in South Australia, an organisation driven by strong values. In this role, she shares information about microenterprise as a career option for people with disability.


This presentation was recorded during the November 2023 meeting of the Imagining Home Peer Group.