Local Surveillance Data Manager Stacey McPherson is waiting to hear whether her ten year old son Calum will win a major charity award after he recently learned to talk for the first time.
Calum was born with a rare genetic condition, a De Novo mutation of the CHAMP1 gene, which causes severe speech difficulties. But the brave schoolboy stunned doubters by speaking for the first time with the help of smartphone app Proloquo2Go.
Stacey, who works in Infection Prevention and Control, recalled: “Our proudest moment was last year when Calum started to use this new app on the smartphone which turned him from a non-verbal frustrated child to a little boy who was able to use a device that opens up his whole world.ADVERTISING
Finally everyone knew what he truly needed and he was so happy.
“Some people were sceptical that he would be able to use the device correctly, but I never doubted my boy. He has continued to thrive using it at home and at school.
“Recently I downloaded the Scottish accent in the settings. He was overjoyed to hear himself sounding just like his mummy and daddy when he pressed his words. I had tears in my eyes. I could list many proud moments, but nothing will compare to seeing your child being able to communicate.”
The ‘Contact a Family Awards’ were set up by the national charity that supports families with disabled children, to celebrate the countless things UK families do when caring for disabled children. The Proudest Moment Award category is one of six categories, including Parent Power and Family Champion.
Calum, who has been shortlisted for the award, has been invited with his family to a special ceremony and reception at the end of January 2017 in the state rooms of the Speaker of the House of Commons, John Bercow MP, at the Palace of Westminster.