Have A Chat works won­ders

Townsville Bulletin - - NEWS - DANNI SHAFIK

COMUNICATION doesn’t come eas­ily for eight- year- old Saxon Hawks, but a camp held this week is help­ing him and his fam­ily.

Camp Have A Chat, a pro­gram run by non- profit or­gan­i­sa­tion CPL for school age chil­dren with com­mu­ni­ca­tion dis­abil­i­ties was held in Townsville this week and Saxon was one of the 16 chil­dren who at­tended.

Saxon’s mother Mel­lisa Hawks said she would like to see Saxon out and com­mu­ni­cat­ing with other kids his age, not stay­ing at home.

“I kept hear­ing about Camp Have a Chat and see­ing fam­i­lies post about it on Facebook and thought we should go, ” she said.

It is the third year the camp has been held in Townsville with al­lied health pro­fes­sion­als work­ing with the chil­dren and their fam­i­lies to im­prove their com­mu­ni­ca­tion skills, with for­mer Cow­boys player Matt Bowen lend­ing some ex­tra star power to the event.

The chil­dren learnt how to use com­mu­ni­ca­tion sys­tems, in­clud­ing speech gen­er­at­ing de­vices, tablets with com­mu­ni­ca­tion apps and books.

Pro­gram and al­lied health man­ager Re­becca Daniloff said the camp was a great chance for chil­dren and their fam­i­lies to get hands on and learn how to use speech gen­er­at­ing de­vices.

“Most peo­ple find that even though they are com­ing for the equip­ment, it’s re­ally about friend­ship, net­work­ing and sup­port that we see get­ting stronger and stronger,” she said.

“Fam­i­lies need to come along be­cause it’s all about com­mu­ni­ca­tion and sup­port­ing the camper’s fam­ily to con­tinue on with that learn­ing.”

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