The frustration of trying to communicate could be a thing of the past for Banjo O'Brien thanks to cutting edge technology.ELAINE COONEY June 11, 2014 3:10am
New technology could help district spastic quadriplegic cerebral palsy patient Banjo O’Brien to communicate with family and friends.
Banjo, whose grandparents live in Rochester, was born at 24 weeks’ gestation.
A machine called a Tellus 4 Intelligaze
‘‘He could look at a picture of a dog and then a picture of a park and the computer would say it,’’ his mother Diana O’Brien said.
‘‘It would be great to see what he has to say.’’
She said Banjo was using a Pragmatic Organisation Dynamic Display book which is a printed book of images of activities, favourite foods, emotions and expressions.
Mrs O’ Brien said she had to go through the book slowly to work out what her son wanted but the new Eye Gaze program would make the process less frustrating for him.
She said it was sometimes a guessing game to see what he wanted because his ‘‘yes’’ and ‘‘no’’ responses were unclear.
Mrs O Brien said his responses were improving over time and when he found a photo that represented what he wanted, he would laugh and his eyes would light up.
If the answer was ‘‘no’’ he would sometimes shake his head.
‘‘It’s a long process, but when we understand when he is trying to communicate his smile gets bigger and he laughs with relief,’’ she said.
‘‘He gets super excited when the process works and he can finally tell us what he wants to do.’’
She said the new technology would give him independence to communicate and play without assistance.
The technology costs $20,029 and the government will fund up to $7000.
The O’Brien family is on the waiting list to test the system for two weeks to make sure it is appropriate and Banjo has enough head control for consistent gaze.
If the trial is successful, the See Banjo Run charity will raise money for the remainder of the costs.
RACV data shows Mitchell Shire has the highest number of insurance claims lodged in the region for animal-related collisions.
In a day made for football at the sun-bathed Lavington Sports Club Oval the 2015 Yarrawonga Under 16 Pigeons showed their class with a comprehensive victory in the AWJFL Grand Final against Wodonga.
Saturday, August 22 saw the Harston Memorial Hall packed to capacity for the annual Reg Poole Concert.
HEATHER and Brian Parker never meant to spend 10 months cruising to Goolwa and back.
CHILDREN from across the district went crazy over Book Week last week.
Young Bombers pull off last quarter comeback to win under-16 premiership.
The Darley and Swettenham stallion parades attracted large numbers to the showpiece Northwood Rd properties on Sunday.
Berrigan public decides drainage works location
A THREE-MONTH-OLD girl from Heathcote who died on Sunday night did not have any physical signs of injuries when ambulance arrived, according to police.
Cobram Barooga leaders and tourism operators have welcomed the launch of a new tourism strategy focusing on events, which aims to attract more people to the Murray River.
Cancer claims one of its fiercest combatants.
Water allocations were increased in the Goulburn-Murray Water region today.
The News magazines are online - read high quality magazines in your time. Check in regularly for the latest editions.
Riverine Herald's well regarded locally produced magazines. They're now online, so you can read them whenever and wherever you like.
Search for published and unpublished photos from McPherson Media Group newspapers and magazines. All our photos are available to purchase.
Place an advertisement in any one of McPherson Media Group's local newspapers.