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www.wmfd.com - A camp in Maine helps bridge the gap betweeen parents and their nonverbal children. }}" />

   
 
 
Camp In Maine Helps Nonverbal Children Communicate

Story By: Larry Stine

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  Original Published: 9/2/2014

A camp in Maine helps bridge the gap betweeen parents and their nonverbal children. Patrick Thomas explains what help children with disabilities recievd to help them communicate. At Pine Tree Camp in Rome, parents are communicating with their children, without ever having to speak. "The one thing is it's our philosophy that everyone has something to say, and sometimes it just takes a different way to say it," says Linda Bonnar of the Pine Tree Society. The theme of the weekend, appropriately titled, Camp Communication, inits 10th year, is helping nonverbal campers with disabilities find what to say via augmentative communication by using a computer device. It allows a child to formulate complete words, then sentences by touching or looking at a computer screen. "With their devices, they are able to show what they know, they are able to express their feelings, to make comments, to interact with others," Bonnar says. "Everybody wants to be socially connected, and their devices help them to do that." The three-day excursion builds dialogue through active outdoor games, like swimming and boating. Ten-year-old Lexi Nevills decided she wanted to be more than just a passenger in the boat. "Around," she says. "Around," her mother Tracey Nevills answers. "Boat," Lexi says. "You got to drive all the way around the lake? Very nice," says reporter Patrick Thomas. The camp is also enabling kids like Brenda Stenglein's son, Sean, who suffers from Cerebral Palsy, to function normally at school. "He can research, he can do all his schoolwork on it," she says. "And for him to be able to share what's on his mind: you can't put a price on that." Lexi's mother, Tracey, is glad she can lead a regular life. "So it's nice that people can say, 'Oh! Hey, Lexi! What did you do, today?' and she can respond and they can actually respond and have a full-on conversation with her," says Tracey Nevills. Siblings are encouraged to attend, another aspect that Lexi adores. (Computer) "I like brother." Which is not a bad thing to say about the person you share all your toys with.

   
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