A parent of a non-verbal child has thanked the council for the installation of a communication board at a new Basingstoke park.

As part of a major refurbishment which took place at Lime Pits play area, a communication board was installed. 

The communication board helps non-verbal children and adults to communicate with other people while at the park. It is the first to be installed in the borough.

Lauren Ritchie Freitas goes to the park with her six-year-old son, Cohen. Cohen has two genetic deletions, causing him to have a number of medical issues. He cannot walk, eat or talk verbally.

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Lauren said: "I saw a post about the communication board being put in Lime Pits on Facebook and that's what led us to the park. I was so happy to see it and felt proud that people who have trouble speaking verbally can access the park.

"It's so inclusive and wonderful to see that the way my son communicates is being accepted. My son was surprised to see it and used it.

"He was able to ask to go on the seesaw, swing and much more. He uses a tablet to communicate with the same pictures and words so knew what to do instantly."

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Cabinet member for residents’ services and housing Cllr Laura James said: “We were delighted to be sent this wonderful video showing our new communication board in use at the Lime Pits play area.

Basingstoke Gazette:

"The board is the first to be installed in the borough’s play areas and is designed to help non-verbal children and adults to communicate with others.

“This communication board has received lots of positive feedback and we will now be looking to introduce more of them when we refurbish our play areas.

“We are also going to explore opportunities to install the boards at some of our existing play areas. This supports our priority to ensure our play areas are well maintained, accessible to all and fun.”