Redland Bay 4165
(612 ABC Brisbane: Terri Begley) 612 ABC Brisbane
By Terri Begley and Jessica Hinchliffe
September 22, 2016 12:21:58
Finley learns to communicate with his mother using a device.
(612 ABC Brisbane: Terri Begley)
At home she can understand and chat with her son without the technology, but said it would become more important as he grew up.”Coming here it encourages you and reminds you why you’re doing it and the long term,” she said.”That long-term goal is for him to be a fully communicating adult that can speak without assistance from anyone else.”The family has been using communication devices since Finley was two years old.Currently they use a device called the Liberator, which can find any word in the dictionary after just three taps.”The most exciting thing about it is that he can get his own thoughts out,” Ms Coll said.”He says exactly what he wants to say.”
Learn more about Finley's story
Through his device, Finley said the camp had allowed him to speak more.”We wrote and performed our own play and I really enjoyed it and I love being on stage,” he said.Finley said having an electronic device gave him a voice.”It means people can know me and what I think.” Photo:
Camper Finley speaks with his mum using an electronic device. (Supplied: Camp Have a Chat)
“Most of the communication is done using symbols and a little bit of signing too.”She said technology had helped break down communication problems.”Tablets make communication cheaper and more accessible for kids,” Ms Nivala said.”It also makes it more trendy for the kids to have a tablet with them and normalises it.”It’s only going to get more exciting and offer more opportunities to the kids that come along to the camp.” Amanda Coll said the camp allowed her son Finley the chance to learn how to talk more with others. A special camp in Queensland is teaching children with disabilities, who can’t speak, how to use technology to talk to family and friends.Choice Passion Life (formerly the Cerebral Palsy League) runs Camp Have a Chat, which helps school-aged children with complex communication issues to discover their own voice.The group of 18 has been undertaking the four-day camp in Redland Bay, north of Brisbane, this week.The only initiative of its kind in Queensland, campers were given a range of communication devices to help them talk with others.”We have children using communication books, assisted technology and iPads with communication software,” camp coordinator Karen Nivala said
Children are taught how to talk through devices at the Camp Have a Chat camp.