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iDeal for youngster Phoenix
A YOUNGSTER with a rare genetic disorder has the world at his fingertips after a funding boost from Bridport Round Table.
Mountjoy School pupil Phoenix Walker, who lives in Weymouth, has been given his own iPad to help with his communication skills.
The 10-year-old has Angelman Syndrome, which causes severe physical disabilities and speech problems.
Headteacher of the Beaminster-based special needs school James Franzen said: “The iPad will mean Phoenix will have an extra tool to communicate with at school, home, during clubs and breaks offering continuity, clarity and understanding to all who know and meet this delightful young man.”
Speech and language therapist Isabel Williams said the technology would be a ‘major step’ for Phoenix.
She said: “I have been working with Phoenix for a number of years.
“He has a severe speech disorder in association with learning difficulties.
“His genetic condition indicates that he will never achieve spoken language but he is a sociable and very communicative young man who is desperate to communicate.”
Phoenix had been using the school’s iPad to access a programme to develop his communication skills.
Mountjoy approached the Bridport Round Table to see if funds were available to buy the youngster his own to use at home and at school.
Chairman Andy Sherring said the group were ‘more than happy to help’.
He said: “This is a tool that will help him, as well as his teachers, parents, siblings, and friends.
“He can have it with him both at school and at home, and it helps to get his message across, as well as improving his communication skills.”
The genetic condition is caused by chromosome irregularities and usually diagnosed in youngsters when they are aged three to seven, as this is when behavioural and physical characteristics become apparent. For details, visit www.angelmanuk.org
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