My family attended Variety 2016 Chatter Matters! Communication Camp! Communicating with non-verbal children is very challenging; the camp showed us that it is well worth the hard work. Stephen Hawkings is only one individual who uses technology to give himself a voice. If we can all learn to use technology to its fullness, how much better will the world be for all of us? Technology is advancing we need to make sure the people who need it most have access to it. Everyone at camp was encouraged to do so.
People are social creatures. Both non-verbal children and their parents are isolated. Being among others with similar challenges broke the isolation. Everyone was able to find others that they could relate to and share with.
The camp was a fun, non-judgmental place were my entire family could have fun while learning. Being among so many non-verbal children allowed us to experience the world differently. Some of the activities were geared to have us adults see the world through our children's' eyes and it was frustrating. My children were able to see the world as one of the "normal" children and have fun.
Chatter Matters camp was an amazing experience for our family this past weekend! The campground was perfect and from all of the fun activities to the parent sessions.. we couldn't have asked for more! Thank you for letting us come to camp and we hope we can come back next year!
This camp was a tremendous treat to my whole family. Thank you for this opportunity to be able to focus on fun and communicating with my son's device throughout the whole weekend. FUN! FUN! FUN! camp activities and parent enrichment sessions were appreciated by the whole family. Thank you for what you do and we are looking forward to more opportunities with Variety!
Variety has been a blessing to our family. They have given us the opportunity to get out into our community with other families like us. we have participated in Varietys free movies and Christmas parties. Variety has also coordinated and help purchase an adaptive trike for our daughter. With out their help a trike would not have been obtainable. We recently attended their "Chatter Matters" communication camp, it was an amazing experience for the entire family. Our daughter got the opportunity to use her AAC device besides the normal school and home atmosphere. She initiated conversions, made choices, answered questions and participated independently in a talent show. All this at just 7 years old! With out Variety our family would not have a chance to have "normal" activities and experiences just like their peers!
We came into the camp not sure what to expect, just willing to try something new. When we arrived at the camp we were blown away!! The facility was beautiful... everyone was so nice. The entire staff was personable and professional... Our son was immediately comfortable.
This camp has changed our family's life and we plan to participate in as many events as we possibly can in the future and spread the word on how wonderful an experience it was for us .
Thank you so much Variety for having the Chatter Matter camp!
Chatter Matters is a great organization that has really impacted our family. We enjoy the many activities that are offered and the opportunity to learn more about our child's device. We are able to attend events that we normally could not afford. THANK YOU Chatter Matters and keep up the great work!!!!
AMAZING STAFF ! They work with their hearts and their minds intertwined to help children with limiting abilities become more independent in communication, in the community and physically.Our family is super grateful for all the FUTURE KIDS events that get us out into the community and our child socializing, communicating and involved . Thank you variety for being a bright spot of accessibility and HOPE !
We have been involved with Variety for 3 years, now. They have helped us tremendously with many aspects of having a special needs child. From communication device, to an adaptive bicycle. Not to mention the fun events!
Our youngest daughter, Kira, was diagnosed at age 2 with Rett syndrome, after losing her ability to stand, talk and use her hands functionally. She has used a low tech communication book (PODD) for 6 years and 2 years ago started using her Tobii, a speech generating device she controls with her eyes. We were able to attend the Chatter Matters camp this summer and have so much to be grateful for. The camp was structured to offer Kira a camp experience, much like her siblings, but with significant emphasis on creating opportunities for her to utilize her communication device in meaningful, engaging situations, while meeting new friends and having fun. The staff was amazing! There were students who are going into the speech pathology profession, working side by side with veteran speech pathologists and other professionals. Our days were filled with activities and staff were right there to help. Parents were offered opportunities to meet with specialists while kids were actively engaged in activities with so many volunteers. Kira requires 1:1 attention and I felt comfortable going to the parent sessions while others cared for and interacted with her.
The camp was a time for Kira to be included in all activities with other children. Siblings attended and were engaged as well.
It's not often Kira participates in something that I can stand back and let go of my worries. I am usually trying to adapt whatever "typical" activity is going on, but here was a place Kira fit in, and camp was ready for her.
I appreciated the time spent learning from and sharing experiences with other parents who "get it". Although our children are different, we all understand the intensity of raising a child with special needs, advocating for their needs and trying to find solutions to any number of situations. Kira left camp with a stronger understanding of how to use her communication device, and a treasured week of camp memories she has shared with her 3rd grade class. I left camp with new circle of friends, a bonus I hadn't anticipated. Thank you Variety, for the opportunity to participate in Chatter Matters!