Motor Mouth camp to help get Kim ‘talking’

Kimberley Connell with her mother Helen and grandmother Marie Connell. Picture: Marcus Whisson d426181
Kimberley Connell with her mother Helen and grandmother Marie Connell. Picture: Marcus Whisson d426181

Kimberley has epilepsy and global development delay, making it difficult for her to communicate.

The Durham Road School student has used an augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) aid since last year to express her wants and needs.

Kimberley is one of 16 children attending the Variety Motor Mouth Camp on October 1-5, where she and her family will get one-on-one support and training on how best to communicate and use the AAC.

Mrs Connell said the AAC was a godsend, with Kimberley taking to it well.

‘The camp will enhance ways of her communicating her needs and wants, and her being able to talk to us through it will be marvellous in the future,’ she said.

‘It involves the whole family in helping Kim learn how to use the device in an inspiring environment, and by using fun activities like arts and crafts and play.’

Mrs Connell said things took longer for Kimberley, with preparation and organisation vital to controlling stress.

‘Kimberley requires toileting, washing, grooming, feeding and dressing, everything you would do for a toddler, ‘ she said. ‘What makes our daily life enjoyable is her sense of humour and happy disposition.’

Mrs Connell said having her daughter diagnosed with epilepsy and GDD before the age of four was disappointing, but she remained hopeful.

‘I always have hope that one day the epilepsy will get better and her development will improve,’ she said.

‘I never stop researching and looking for new ways of helping Kim get the most out of life and reaching her best potential.’