In every community each person has something of themselves to give to others and each generation thinks differently than the one before. This brings constant change and blends new ideas with the old giving a vast array of interest for locals and tourists alike.
Stephanie Anne Dalton, born on the 6th March 1989, is a young mum of two (a son Breckin and a daughter Bella) and with a new baby on the way. When asked how she feels about the challenges of parenting in this day and age she replied smiling “Brad is a wonderful dad who believes that duel parenting is very important. He works a lot but spends time with the children every chance he gets so I don’t have all the decision making on my own”. Breckin is an extremely bright happy little boy but has given many challenges to Stephanie. She realised when he was very young, development in certain areas seemed slower than most children. He’d play on his own and wouldn’t interact with other children or adults like peers his own age. He also went through bouts of self harming which was cause for concern. As months turned into years Stephanie noted all the differences and set out to find answers.
Breckin was finally diagnosed as having Autism which opened a whole new world to his mother. Autism has such a wide misconception surrounding it and most people aren’t aware of how many different forms it can take. “It really is quite scary learning about changes that can happen and what is entailed in controlling different symptoms”. “Bella is totally different” says Stephanie with a chuckle. “She is really out there. She loves puzzles and drawing. If she draws a line she says it is a snake. Bella is very specific and every thing she draws she has to tell me what it is. She’s my little genius. Both my children are very clever and despite the challenges ahead I wouldn’t swap them for the world”.
Stephanie didn’t have the easiest childhood and rebelled when at school. Believing that teenage years are a time of self expression and learning about whom you should be and who you really are, she found it difficult to conform to the regimental system of posh school uniforms, no hair dye or no finger nail polish. She spoke out strongly for what she believed in and was often in trouble for being so strong willed. She lived at Tara back then, a small country town in the Darling Downs region of Queensland. It was named after the Tara pastoral station (1852).
Leaving school in grade nine she went to Sydney with her mum and found work in a process factory to earn money to move back to Tara to place herself back in school. She stayed with a family who helped her get back into the school system and to get a place of her own. She believes that no matter what your background history is, with determination and an honest outlook on life you can overcome most obstacles that present themselves. “I’ve done some pretty stupid things but only hurt myself by doing so. I worked hard to overcome my downfalls and build a better life. I’ve been in Mount Morgan for nearly six years and I feel I have grown and achieved heaps for myself and my young family”.
In her early teenage years Stephanie loved the hippy lifestyle with her dress code and her music. Her styles have changed but she still loves music and singing. She writes beautiful lyrics and finds writing when she is down helps pick her back up again. “I would love to do more with my music”. Her other passion is what is known as Up-cycling. She is very proud of what she has achieved. Jess Hare showed Stephanie a whole new world with her up-cycling interests. “It is basically getting old stuff people consider junk and making it into something useable and worth the effort. I am totally enjoying the experience and hope many others try it”.
Going to the zoo, days at the dam with family and friends, visiting parks with safe play equipment, days at the beach, fishing and even shopping are just a few of the things Stephanie loves doing with her children. The community garden at Footbridge Corner is a place her and the kids spent a lot of time enjoying the freedom of the outdoors whilst helping develop something the entire community could benefit from.
When asked what areas of development in Mount Morgan would she like changed, Stephanie thinks about it for a short while then states she likes it just as it is. The one thing she would like to see introduced in the local area would be a place which offers information and help to Autistic people and their families. She feels this would be an asset of high proportion for the town and that it would not only help families through many barriers of Autism but may also help others to be more understanding when they see children doing things a little out of the norm when in public. In the future, hopefully a follow up interview with Stephanie will be possible, to see how her quest for better Autism Information is developing.
- Profile and photograph by Heather Quarry, supplied to the Mount Morgan Argus 2012 -