But Ferndale mum Linda Eaton spent many years fearing she would never experience either, after her son Alex was born with the rare congenital brain formation condition called Lissencephaly.
In Alex’s case it caused severe intellectual and visual impairment and uncontrolled epilepsy.
‘Alex’s complex issues made any type of education and therapy a challenge,’ Ms Eaton said.
‘I searched high and low for a program to support him but nothing convinced me of the benefit. Many were hugely expensive, promising great potential benefit, but the reality was they fell short.’
Ms Eaton finally found the Conductive Education Centre of WA, which operates from the State Government’s only primary education support school, the Carson Street School in East Victoria Park, and everything changed.
‘I would never have believed that Alex had any chance of developing a communication system and now that belief has turned into a concrete realisation,’ Ms Eaton said.
‘The teachers truly believed in his ability to achieve and followed through on that belief, showing us amazing progress.’
Treasurer of the centre’s P&C, Ms Eaton is appealing for local businesses to donate to and people to attend The Dinner for Dreams gala ball at the Crown Astral Ballroom in Burswood on May 10.
About 50 students are enrolled in an early intervention program for children from birth to kindy and primary school based conductive education at Carson Street, but funding is needed to expand the program so it can welcome more families.
‘The program is limited to a small number of students and due to the specialised equipment and training required it needs funding,’ she said.
‘Our parents have found that this program has provided benefit for our children that standard therapy and schooling do not. It is for that reason that we have invested our time and energy into keeping the program alive.’