Olivia Hurstfield helping son Levi with improving communication

Olivia Hurstfield has stood up to be a voice and advocate for her seven year old son Levi, who is non-verbal and has trouble trying to communicate what he is thinking and feeling.

Olivia and Levi Hurst
Olivia and Levi Hurst

In turn, Levi was understandably getting frustrated with not being able to get his point across.

“Levi was born with Down Syndrome and low muscle tone, which resulted in numerous operations to help correct throat, stomach and muscle complications. He [Levi] is as sharp as a tack and a little cheeky on the inside he just has trouble getting it out,” said Ms Hurstfield.

More recently Levi, who attends Karuah Public School, has immensely improved on communications with the help of one word signs called ‘Key Word Signs’, which is far more easier than having to spell out an entire sentence.

Ms Hurstfield told Myall Coast News, “The Early Intervention Centre offered to help organise the workshop but I did not have the facilities for receipting and so forth, and even though Newcastle University is the main National Office for Key Word Australia they could not help me, so I took it upon myself to organise a Key Word Sign Workshop which will only be open to school staff from Karuah, and around twenty other schools from surrounding districts.”

“The aim of the workshop is for teachers, school and canteen staff to learn and benefit from Basic Key Word Signs so they can communicate and better understand children’s needs that experience the same difficulty now and in the future.”

“I will be hosting a Trivia Night on Saturday 23 May to help raise funds to pay for the workshop, and any funds that may be left over will be donated to Karuah Public School,” Ms Hurstfiled said.

The Trivia Night will be held at Karuah RSL Club at 6.30pm and will be $100 per team of ten, or $10 per person and dinner and drinks will be available at own cost.

RSVP Olivia on 0400109815 or [email protected]

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