Cian Shovlin – Nationwide Feature

Last Wednesday we got to a glimpse into the life of Cian Shovlin and his family. Featured on RTÉ One Nationwide, Cian was born with Down syndrome and is non-verbal but that hasn’t stopped him from joining his local National School, St. Conal’s National School.
Participating in classroom life has been challenging, to help engage with others Cian uses a mix of Lámh Sign and an AAC (augmentative and alternative communication) device.
His presence has inspired fellow classmates to not only learn Lámh but to also help raise funds for children and people with Down syndrome through our HB Hazelbrook Farm, HB Fundays ice cream parties campaign!??
We hope you enjoy the segment on Cian and our thanks to HB Hazelbrook Farm for there continued support in helping us raise vital funds for children and adults with Down syndrome!
A lot of parents have been in touch with us at DSI about Cian’s AAC (augmentative and alternative communication) device, the device is windows operated with the Grid 3 software programme on it.
He was assessed by his HSE speech and language therapist, who applied for a trial device and he received this for a period of 2 weeks. Both of Cian’s parents felt that at this age he would benefit from it, and Cian’s SLT made an application to her HSE manager. The device came from an English company called Smartbox. Cian and his parents are due to receive training from them next month.
Just to note further that there are several different types of devices and programmes, Cian and his parents just liked the device he now has. There are also free AAC apps on Android and Apple for parents to trial – it is best to ask your SLT for advice on what best suits your child’s needs. Cian’s family say that the device has huge potential and is very beneficial – which is wonderful to hear.

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