New vehicle gets family mobile

Make a Difference Foundation patron Justin Langer with Holly (4) and Lauren Smith (6) in their new van.
Make a Difference Foundation patron Justin Langer with Holly (4) and Lauren Smith (6) in their new van.

The Priddle family have three children ” two of whom live with multi-physical disabilities. Lauren (6) and Holly (4) have leukodystrophy, autism and epilepsy and the family has struggled with an old, unreliable car that has become too small to transport all the family and wheelchairs.

They have regular trips to see specialists and ongoing therapy but often arrange separate appointments, as there is not enough room in the car.

Former Australian Test cricketer and current Western Australia coach Justin Langer, a patron of Make a Difference Foundation WA, presented the family with a specially designed bus at the WACA ground last week.

Mum Clare said she looked forward to doing more things as a family. ‘ In some ways the girls are very much like any other children, except for the disabilities,’ she said.

‘They need an opportunity to be like every other kid, so this van will make it a lot easier for them and we will be able to take the girls out. I am looking forward to being able to go to the zoo without worrying about fitting the wheelchairs in the car.

‘As the girls get older and get harder to move, we can take the seats out of the van and they can travel in their wheelchairs.’

Ms Priddle said Lauren and Holly loved going to Bindoon Primary School.

‘They are both intellectually impaired and have problems with their communication but iPads have communication mechanisms, so you can use pictures to work out what they need,’ she said.

‘Holly has taken to using sign language, which is taught at the school.’

For more information on the organisation, visit makeadifferencewa.com.