Tuesday 17 November 2015

Why my chatterbox goes to Makaton classes

Jane signs "Reindeer"

Jane is only two and a half years old.  She's doing great.  Coming back from her new nursery, where the teacher described her as Little Miss Independent, Jane can tell me about her day and what she wants for lunch.  She started talking earlier than her older siblings.  In fact, she started talking a lot earlier than her siblings.  That's why after we've had whatever compromise we came to for lunch, Jane and I are going to a pre-school singing and signing class. 

I've been going to Singing Hands classes and Me Too & Co singing sessions for years, well before we had our beautiful little daughter. We started going when Anthony's speech seemed delayed. As is often the case with siblings, when his younger brother David was born he also came along for the ride. At this point we had no idea that by the time David was five years old, Makaton sign language would be his primary means of communication. 

Initially the only noises David made sounded more like bird calls than any kind of speech sounds at all. Following various sessions at the speech therapist we started two forms of AAC. Alternative and Augmented Communication either replaces (alternative) or works alongside (augmented) speech. Makaton signing supports speech. It's not like British Sign Language where people can communicate in audible silence; Makaton is only used along side words. And this is how David uses it.

Jane though can't stop talking. Most of the time she uses a good sentence structure too. I don't know whether going to Singing Hands and joining in with Singing and Signing at Me Too & Co helped her talk early. Or maybe it's because she got a lot of second hand therapy as she spent a lot of time with David and I before David started full time school this September. She definitely enjoys the classes though and I think it was quite good at expanding her vocabulary.

What I do know is that there's a much greater chance of her being able to communicate with her brother if she picks up Makaton too. Going to the classes sometimes means we don't go to the playground in a sunny afternoon or that we'll have to put off baking a cake.  But as they've just started the Christmas songs, I don't think she minds.

One thing's for sure though. The first time I see Jane and David communicating in a way that's not just a game of rough and tumble tag, I'll have a massive smile on my face. 


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1 comment:

  1. It's great that signing is helping your family to communicate thanks so much for sharing your story with us at #toddlerapprovedtuesday 😊


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