PROUD MUM: Kim and her daughter Elizabeth Frost.
PROUD MUM: Kim and her daughter Elizabeth Frost. Contributed

Down Syndrome won't stop Elizabeth from living her life

MOTHER of three Kim Frost couldn't be more proud of her daughter, who is helping the Yeppoon community learn about the importance of including people with disability.

Elizabeth Frost, who has Down syndrome, works as a childcare assistant as part of the team in the kindergarten room at JAC's Learning World, a local day centre.

Since we last spoke with Elizabeth, she has had a room change and has really stepped up in her role. Employed since September 2018, she has been given 12 months to settle into the position and has expressed her interest in continuing within the industry.

Children at J.A.C''s Learning World love Elizabeth. Pictured are Ruby Lanesbury and Taye Warner with Elizabeth
Children at J.A.C''s Learning World love Elizabeth. Pictured are Ruby Lanesbury and Taye Warner with Elizabeth Frost. Vanessa Jarrett

Kim described Elizabeth landing her job as something every mother wants to see.

"Every mother wants to see their child succeed and be happy,” she said.

"She's employed with the same entitlements as the other childcare assistants.

"She has a great work ethic. She gets out of bed and goes to work, she enjoys herself and does everything that is expected of her.

"Elizabeth loves her job and is empowered by amazing people - people who encourage her to be the best version of herself.

"Elizabeth is an inspiration. She never gives up and she lives each and every day to its fullest.

"She has been given every opportunity that any other child would,” she said.

"Things took her a little longer and she learnt things a little differently, but she always applied herself and achieved anything she set her mind to.

"She is happy and loves unconditionally but has always been very determined. She also has a real sense of who she is.”

Elizabeth found the transition from school to employment challenging.

In 2017, Elizabeth joined the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) when it rolled out in Central Queensland.

Harlan Semple, Herny Kirby having a fish in the creek wih Elizabeth Frost. The creek is Elizabeth's favourite spot at J.A.C's Learning World.
Harlan Semple, Herny Kirby having a fish in the creek wih Elizabeth Frost. The creek is Elizabeth's favourite spot at J.A.C's Learning World. Vanessa Jarrett

With funding in place to support her goals and everyday needs, Elizabeth's daily routine changed dramatically.

"Once Elizabeth was able to access appropriate supports, everything changed for her,” Kim said.

Her NDIS plan includes funding for one on one support which assists her to learn to cook and perform household tasks, she also has support to access the community.

Kim said Elizabeth is now more independent, with a strong friendship group and a network of colleagues and extended family.

"Now that Elizabeth is supported by the NDIS, her moving out and living independently is a realistic goal. Everybody deserves to experience that freedom,” she said.

She said living independently was the next step for Elizabeth, who is nervous about the prospect.

"She is gaining independent living skills and being able to manage her own daily tasks - her own cooking, washing and cleaning,” she said.

"Eventually, like all girls her age, she will move into her own house with other people and live independently.

"Once she has a taste of what it is like, being able to live with people her own age and being in control of things she does in her life - I think she will love it,” she said.

Elizabeth is an advocate for people with disabilities, people in Yeppoon know her because she is active in the community.

Her message to others is, "it doesn't matter if you get nervous or scared, just take a deep breath and don't ever let it stop you from doing what you love”.