17 Apr Talking hands
Who uses their hands to express themselves when talking? I’m guilty! There is a misconception that using signing with children will discourage them from starting to talk. When in fact, we all use our hands when we’re talking so why not encourage this with small children to help them understand/communicate. Including gesture and simple signs in children’s repertoire will just accompany language development not hinder it.
Mr Tumble is a huge hit with pre-school and school age children and he uses Makaton signs when he is talking and signing to make his messages clear. Using structured gestures will naturally slow down our speech too which is an extra bonus for those young learning ears!
There are different forms of signing and the main ones in Essex are:
British Sign Language – used only within the deaf community. This is a stand alone language which has its own grammar and rules.
Makaton/Signalong – Based on British Sign Language but only certain words in a sentence are signed to help users of English to understand/express themselves.
We would encourage families to use signing in their households and nurseries to support their children’s communication skills. There are lots of programmes/classes that encourage signing such as Something Special on Cbeebies and the nationwide programme – Sing and Sign to help babies to communicate in a fun and interactive way. We too are trained in supporting families to use signing at home so feel free to call us for some advice!