Lawrence, in his early 20s, has delighted in experiencing his favourite movie characters come to life at Warner Bros. Movie World during two recent stays at Multicap’s short term accommodation (STA) at Robina.
Lawrence has Downs Syndrome and now that his three older siblings have all left home, he is the last one still living with his devoted parents, Andrew and Araya.
The holiday destination was an easy win for Lawrence as from a young age he fell in love with various movie and television show characters which his parents indulged by purchasing matching costumes.
Laughing, they recall the story about his first beloved costume, Flynn Rider from the Disney animation Tangled, which caused quite some drama in the family home.
“Lawrence refused to take it off for two weeks!” Andrew said. “We had to fight him to take it off, which literally involved some wrestling, so that we could wash it and when it was finally on the clothesline, he would take it off and wear it wet.”
“We quickly learnt that we needed to buy two of his favourites, which over the years included The Farmer from Shaun the Sheep, Ralph from the Sound of Music, Fred Jones from Scooby-Doo, and Sportacus from LazyTown to name a few,” said Andrew.
“He adores his costumes, and it remains one of his favourite things to do at home and he fights not to leave his costumes,” Araya adds.
Lawrence had previous experience with Multicap when he was a student at Sunnybank Special School, however in his final year at school, Araya knew that he was no longer interested in school and would prefer to see the world.
“We arrange for Lawrence to have holiday’s two or three times a year and we know that he has enjoyed his stays at Multicap’s accommodation in Robina because when he gets home, he is happy and refreshed,” she said.
Multicap’s Disability Support Worker, Brenan was fortunate to support Lawrence during both of his stays at Robina.
“Lawrence is absolutely delightful,” Brenan said. “He is usually a little anxious when he arrives, but he settles in quickly. He loved meeting all the superheroes at Movie World, going to the beach and singing along with Jack and his choir.
Outside of movies and costumes, Lawrence loves the concept of writing and has learnt several letters despite being non-verbal.
“He likes writing and his favourite letters are D for dad, M for mum, and J for Jason and Jenny, his brother and sister. He likes to tease people by calling them things that start with the same letter as their name. For example, he calls me ‘Diesel’ (the bad engine in Thomas the Tank Engine stories) and calls his brother Jason ‘Jafar’ (the bad guy in the Disney Aladdin movie). Sometimes he praises them by calling them good things such as calling Jenny ‘Jasmine’, the heroine from the Aladdin movie. He also loves getting postcards and seeing his name on cards and letters,” said Andrew.
Whilst not contributing to any short-term goals, Araya explains that Lawrence’s holidays are helping develop his confidence to find his independence.
“We know that at the moment he isn’t mentally ready to move out, but it’s supposed to happen eventually. As we age and as he matures, he won’t need to rely on us,” Araya said.
“If he can go one week without anxiety (worry that I will disappear), we will try for two-week holidays. When Lawrence is comfortable with that, we may look for longer term accommodation,” she said.
In support of Lawrence seeing more of the world, the family are thinking of going on a road trip in a motorhome. Multicap’s STAs offer people a home away from home, with a wide variety of properties and packages throughout Queensland and northern New South Wales. To find out more or to view our current vacancies, visit our website.