Sixteen-year-old James, diagnosed with the rare Lennox Gastaut syndrome, hadn’t been able to talk to his mother, until he tried a Tobii Dynavox I-Series+ speech generating device at school. The first words that his mother Gina heard were “Hello Mum”.
Spoke for the first time in sixteen years
Sixteen-year-old James, diagnosed with the rare Lennox Gastaut syndrome, hadn’t been able to talk to his mother, until he tried a Tobii Dynavox I-12+ speech generating device at school. The first words that his mother Gina heard were “Hello Mum”.
I’ve waited sixteen years to hear my son say ”Hello Mum”
Thanks to the community in Hull and their “James Walker 100” fundraising campaign, they were able to collect the money needed to buy James a speech generating device of his own.
James has gotten an Tobii Dynavox I-12+, which is the smaller of the two I-Series+ devices. The two speech-generating devices can be controlled through gaze interaction via an optional built-in eye tracker. The I-Series+ is ideal for individuals with Cerebral Palsy, Rett, stroke and aphasia or ALS, who rely on augmentative and alternative communication to make their voices heard, in order to live more independent and integrated lives.
Impact in school
The impact for James, being able to communicate is, of course, profound, not only for him and his family. One of James’s teachers, Mike Bickerton, has really seen how James has grown as an individual and how he is interacting in a whole different way compared to before.
When they start to communicate, when they realize that they can communicate, suddenly they are going places we didn’t expect.
Through the fundraising campaign, the school were also able to get five more devices that can be used in their classrooms. This means that the speech and language pathologist (SLP) doesn’t have to bring a device around to the different classrooms, but that the children who need them will have them available in class.