In February of 2011 our beautiful boy Harry, just a few weeks shy of his first birthday, suffered a severe traumatic brain injury as the result of a fall whilst with a carer. His injury was catastrophic and we now know that initially he was not expected to survive.  However, thanks to a phenomenal neurosurgeon along with quick-thinking and skilled medical staff at every point, we now still have our bright and unquestionably brave boy in our lives.

Harry has had to learn how to do everything again, he was an 11 month old newborn, unable to even hold his head up. Along this extraordinary journey his determination has shone through and we have celebrated every little moment, every tiny victory from the first taste of puree to the first time he smiled again.

I’ll never forget when I heard Harry’s ICU nurse say the words ‘give the boy a chance’. We were trying to get him to tolerate more food through his naso-gastric tube.  The first attempt had failed with him reacting badly and everyone was worried about what to do next.  Give the boy a chance. Just give the boy a chance. And soon enough he was tolerating more and more and getting stronger and stronger.

Whenever we’re in doubt…give the boy a chance.

A big focus for us is Harry’s communication.  Harry has a few verbal words and some signs, but to make sure that he is able to tell us what he is thinking/feeling beyond just those few spoken words he uses a PODD communication book and the Compass communication app on an iPad with the PODD pageset.  The combination of AAC (Augmentative and Alternative Communication) through his PODD book and app along with his signs, sounds, words and gestures ensures that Harry has access to a robust communication system.

You’ll see just how he uses all those things together to communicate in the ‘Harry says…’ posts.

Key for symbols used in the ‘Harry says…’ posts:

📱iPad – H is using his ‘talker’ to say the word

📒PODD – H is using his PODD communication book

☝️Sign – H is using a sign or gesture

📢Voice – H is speaking the word or using sounds to emphasise a point

Who are we all:

H – Harry, our bright, funny complex 4 year old son.  He loves trucks and vans, balls, buses and anything that roars!

T – Tallulah is Harry’s sister who already worships him.

A – Audrey is the newest Banks baby

J – Jamie is H and T’s dad and my wonderful husband.

M – that’s me, Michaela.

Nice to meet you.

10 thoughts on “About

  1. Beautifully written blog Michaela. It’s wonderful to get to know Harry and know you guys are all ok…and then some, x


    1. Thanks so much Robynne! It’s so special being able to share and let Harry’s gorgeous personality shine through to our friends far and wide. Love to your family x


  2. So great to see Harry’s brilliant progress and to see all of you well and happy! And of course, the new addition the family… What a beautiful little girl! Big (although belated) congrats to you and J.


    1. How wonderful to hear from you! So thrilled that you’ve been able to see Harry’s wonderful progress and how he lights up our lives. Thanks, we’re loving having a little girl in our lives – although Harry already has her loving trucks and balls! Hope all is well with you x


  3. Michaela, thank you for your beautiful, honest, insightful words! I send all my love to you, Jamie, Harry and Tallulah. Thinking of you much today xxxxx love Sharon Boonzaier xxxx


  4. Thank you for taking the time to share your experiences with the world. As a speech pathology student, I am so grateful for the opportunity to have a glimpse into your life, to learn how you have benefited from speech pathology support, but also how we as a profession can do better. Thank you to you, your family, and of course, Harry. I wish you all the best.


  5. Hello,
    I am so grateful that you take the time to post about your families adventures in the land of parenting, children and AAC. I look forward to seeing your article printed in the next AGOSCI magazine! Loved the sports post!


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