Ben is a young 17 year old who is on the autism spectrum. Ben lives with his Mum Cathryn in north-west Victoria and is currently enrolled at a school for people living with a disability. Ben’s family in the early stages of his life attended various speech pathologists in an attempt to work on Ben’s verbal communication skills. After some time it became apparent that Ben would be unable to verbally communicate and so the journey of navigating nonverbal communication with Ben began.
Before starting with Kinela, Ben and his family would use some signs to communicate, however as Cathryn describes, this was difficult when they didn’t know the meaning behind each sign “He had 15 signs & we would make up a sign to suit what we were doing”. For Ben and his family it grew frustrating as they had limited avenues of communication using these few signs. Since becoming a part of the Kinela family and taking part in online speech therapy sessions Ben has learnt over 400+ signs.
“He would remind me that he had speech at 4:30, I would pick him up from the bus stop and race home, the computer would be set up, he would log in and have the Kinela screen waiting and loved it” – Cathryn
“When we first started using Kinela’s services, Ben and I only knew 15 signs to communicate with and most of these we made up ourselves. After our speech pathology sessions with Sarah, we have learnt 400+ signs. This has made a world of difference for Ben, he is now able to instantly communicate and I’m able to understand his needs better.” – Cathryn
Having learnt these signs Ben and his family are now able to have instant communication unlike before. Ben’s Kinela speech pathologist Sarah, worked together with Ben and Cathryn to cover immediate things he needs whether it’s food, where he’s going, what he’s feeling (hot or cold) he now has words that he uses for everyday life.
Each session with Kinela was something to look forward to for Ben. For his Mum Cathryn, she has said that it was an amazing experience for her son, to watch his independence grow but more so to have the ability of instant communication was a real game changer for them.