When Evee stepped on stage for her first dance concert last year, it brought tears to her mother’s eyes.

The nine-year-old Sutton local took up jazz ballet as a way to bring out her confidence, and surprised everyone that knew her when she was the star of the show.

Evee was diagnosed with a mild intellectual disability two years ago and as a result struggles with anxiety and lack of confidence, so to see her daughter shining on stage was a big moment for Evee’s mum Kristine.

“Evee’s anxiety tends to hold her back, we thought she might get stage fright,” Kristine said of Evee’s first performance.

“But she was a natural and was dancing her heart out. She had a big smile on her face and gave 100 per cent, it made me so proud.”

Kristine first noticed Evee was having some challenges with reading and writing at pre-school, and when she got to primary school it was recommended that Evee visit an occupational therapist.

Evee was diagnosed shortly after and commenced regular visits to an occupational therapist and speech therapist.

While Evee improved, the family were unable to continue accessing both therapies due to the cost

“We had to stop the speech therapy because we just couldn’t afford it, so it was one or the other.”

Evee stands outside, wearing her school dress, she has a huge smile on her face

In 2017, Evee was able to join the NDIS and her funding is now enabling her to continue fortnightly occupational therapy and monthly speech therapy.

The occupational therapist works with Evee on her fine and gross motor skills, as well as reading, writing and counting, while the speech therapist helps Evee to speak correctly and use describing words.

“I compare her to say one or two years ago and her writing and spelling has improved a lot.

“She’s not falling behind and you can see she has definitely improved.
    
Thanks to ongoing therapy support, Evee’s school, and her enrolment in jazz ballet, Evee’s confidence has also improved.

“She’s progressing, that is the most positive change.

“This is not something she is going to outgrow but I know that when she’s an adult she’ll have every possibility to reach her full potential because we’ve been able to get her help.”