OPTIONS DAY: Hayden Metcalf and Monique Van Kooten are the Options Day 2017 ambassadors and will be speaking about what it is like to live with ASD, a complex disorder that affects brain development.
OPTIONS DAY: Hayden Metcalf and Monique Van Kooten are the Options Day 2017 ambassadors and will be speaking about what it is like to live with ASD, a complex disorder that affects brain development. Contributed

See the world differently at annual Options Day

TWO Bundy teens living with autism will speak about achieving their goals at the sixth annual Options Day today.

Ambassadors Hayden Metcalf, 16, and Monique Van Kooten, 18, have autism spectrum disorder, where affects the brain's development.

Hayden, diagnosed at the age of 9, said autism affected his ability to concentrate and handle pressure but with the love and support of his family, teachers and disability professionals surrounding him, he has managed to succeed in life.

He is just about the finish a school-based apprentice and has just been accepted at two universities to study a degree in sound engineering - a choice he never thought he would have to make.

Options Day is an event for people with disability, their family and friends to explore the training and educational pathways available of them.

"I don't see Asperger's as a disability, it just means that I am different,” Hayden said.

"I see the world differently.”

Personal success has also followed Monique, but not without her own struggles.

"I couldn't talk until I was 5 and had difficulties socialising with others,” she said.

"But with thanks to early intervention disability providers and the support and love from my family, I have been fortunate.

"All these people have assisted with strategies that have helped me to interact with confidence in the community.

"Despite my disability, I graduated from high school with an OP 2.

"Since then I have been working full-time at the Southern Cross Support Services and studying a Certificate III Business Administration traineeship.

"I am excited to say that I have been accepted at the University of Queensland to study a degree in Architecture in 2018.”

Hayden and Monique said they hoped to encourage people living with disability to pursue goals they thought were unachievable.

"I would not have applied to go to university had I not attended an Options Day. Options Day 2016 for me was a game changer, as it made me realise that anything is possible,” Monique said.

The day runs from 9.30am-1.30pm at the Multiplex, 1 Civic Ave.



LETTER: Why limit cashless card to under-35s?

LETTER: Why limit cashless card to under-35s?

Send letters to editorial@news-mail.com.au

Minister fires back at Pitt's Tobruk call

premium_icon Minister fires back at Pitt's Tobruk call

Bailey: Hinkler MP downplays local tourism

Stephen Bennett wants assistance for local farmers

premium_icon Stephen Bennett wants assistance for local farmers

Wide Bay MP puts pressure on State Government to lend a hand

Local Partners