Kathy Ellem BSocWk, PhD is a Lecturer with the School of Public Health and Social Work at QUT. Her research interests include the life experiences of people with intellectual disability, and the experiences of family members of people with a disability.

Kathy has practiced as a social worker in the disability field for many years and has been extensively involved in individual, citizen and systems advocacy. She also has a personal experience as a parent of two beautiful children, including a young man with intellectual disability/autism.

Kathy will present on Day 2 in Symposium 7 - Transforming Family Support.

Tales from the "surprisingly pleasant" mother: parenting my son with intellectual disability/autism: This paper is a personal account of mothering. In many aspects it is a very ordinary story, but in other ways it is filled with all the drama, laughter and adventure that can occur when one of your children has a different way of looking at the world, which others don't always appreciate or understand. I am referring to my son Aidan, who has an intellectual disability and is on the spectrum. Aidan is now 21 years old and is rocking the world in his own way. It has been both a privilege and a huge learning curve to be his mother. I share some of these gifts in my presentation.

Also presenting in this Symposium:
Dr Yuan Gao
Benison O'Reilly