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.
A crowd watched on as a fire threatened three houses in Casey St, Tatura yesterday afternoon.
The Yarrawonga Pigeons scored a 20 point victory over the Myrtleford Saints at the JC Lowe Oval in Yarrawonga on Saturday.
The Aboriginal and wider community is mourning the death of revered Bangerang Aboriginal elder, Uncle John ‘‘Sandy’’ Atkinson.
The River Rats took on Lodden Murray in a strong game on the weekend in their Regional Superleague hockey match in Bendigo fighting out a win in what new coach Chris Mathew called a great result.
FOUR Rochester residents did more than their bit for women’s cancers mid last month when they trekked 60km around Melbourne to raise funds for the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre.
Tongala Football Club lost to Rumbalara in the Murray Netball League on Saturday by 14 points.
Four generations of Comi girls this Mother's Day
Berrigan Shire councillor Daryll Morris says he has been sickened by some of the vitriol and personal attacks to surface since the council’s proposal to redevelop Finley’s Memorial Hall and School of Arts site was revealed in October last year.
DESPITE criticism from within the community over a perceived lack of use, the O’Keefe Rail Trail has enjoyed good traffic over the past couple of weeks, with more to come.
Members of a Cobram social group have encouraged women to become a part of community groups, committees and boards.
School fundraises for student with leukaemia.
ix industry and local government representatives, five water services committee members and two community members have been appointed to the new Connections Stakeholder Consultative Committee.
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