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.
Rich River's Ben Docking capitalised on local knowledge to take out the Goulburn Valley District Golf champion of champions event at his home course.
The 2014 Yarrawonga Mulwala Multisport Festival has been hailed a huge success by organisers and participants alike.
The fifth annual King Billy Retreat Open Garden Party will be held at Rushworth on Saturday and Sunday, October 25-26, from 10 am to 4 pm.
Timbercutter Doug Rosenow is hoping people will listen before it is too late.
Goulburn-Murray Water has been filling in the decommissioned irrigation channel by the Northern Hwy, just out of Rochester.
Fraser sure has aces in spades
It was a triumphant homecoming for God's Own gelding.
Finley's Mark Whiley has been traded from the GWS Giants to Carlton - the club he has supported all his life.
Fiona Bradshaw and the Planet X team have raised more than $5000.
2013/14 Annual Report received this week finds overall finances are ‘‘fair and improving’’ at Moira Shire Council.
Deniliquin McDonald's raised more than $1300 for McHappy Day on Saturday.
Up to14 new full-time jobs will be created at Pactum Dairy Group in Shepparton, with the company set to embark on an $18million expansion at its factory.
Member for Benalla Bill Sykes delivers his valedictory speech to the State parliament: I love youse all.
Discover unbelievable local deals from local businesses every week in the Goulburn and Murray Valley area with Leapon.com.au!
Search properties for sale or rent across North Central Victoria and Southern NSW. Visit your local website for local homes....
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.