Print this Post

KiwiChat Sibling Camp 2017 – Part 2 of 2

KiwiChat Camp is run biannually at Totara Springs Christian Camp. During the previous Camp in 2016, it became apparent that siblings needed more support and training in order to have fun with communication and also to learn how to be a good communication partner to their brother or sister who uses AAC.  Therefore, KiwiChat Sibling Camp was imagined.  In April 2017, after a lot of hard work and planning, Sibling Camp happened! Five families were involved in the inaugural Camp.  We were fortunate to have some wonderful support from Mackenzie, who is a long-term TalkLink client and an inspiring AAC advocate. Mackenzie’s sister, Tish, also came to Sibling Camp to chat to the siblings on Day 1 and shared her experience on the importance of ‘waiting’ for Mackenzie to finish what she was saying rather than jumping in and guessing what Mackenzie might (or might not!) be saying.

Mackenzie shared some of her thoughts from Sibling Camp:

Communication is a two way process, so when somebody has a speech impairment, it doesn’t just affect them. It also affects everybody who they interact with. Sometimes, in the midst of what can be lots of speech therapy for a particular child, their siblings get left out, even though they are likely to be on the same level of vocabulary. Recently, the TalkLink Trust in association with Massey University held a two day holiday programme for siblings of augmentative and alternative communication users. The purpose of this was to allow the siblings the opportunity to use the same method of communication as their siblings and show them how communication devices can be used on a daily basis, whether it be playing games or ordering an ice cream. The holiday programme seemed a success, however, the main outcome was a reminder that brothers and sisters are key in encouraging their siblings to communicate. Also, it is important to remember sometimes parents find it helpful to connect with other parents in similar situations. The same is true for siblings.

Mackenzie Kench


Permanent link to this article: http://www.talklink.org.nz/index.php/2017/05/31/kiwichatsiblingcamp2017-2/

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

Donate Now