WHAT IS COMMUNICATION?
Communication is fundamental to children’s development; children need to be able to understand and be understood. Communication is the foundation of relationships and is essential for learning, play and social interaction
At Chattersense we aim for groups to first and foremost be fun for children and carers alike. Songs, stories and rhymes along with Makaton signing are used, with children and adults learning together through repetition, turn taking, sequencing, eye contact and body language. Early communication matters, and in our ever increasingly digital world, face to face communication, including singing and stories, is vital.
WHY USE SING AND SIGN?
“Research has shown that babies respond well to beat and rhythm of language even before they are born. They are in tune with their mother’s heartbeat from an early stage, so a steady beat and the rhythm of songs and rhymes can be very soothing for them………singing and rhyming is a wonderful way for mums, dads and carers to bond with their children. Music is proven to help reduce stress levels and spending just a few minutes a day sharing a song or rhyme together can have a positive impact on everyone’s mental health.” (Scottishbooktrust.com)
HOW MAKATON SUPPORTS GOOD COMMUNICATION
At Chattersense we aim to combine the benefits of singing and stories with the added bonus of Makaton signing –
“Makaton is a unique language programme that uses symbols, signs and speech to enable people to communicate. It supports the development of essential communication skills such as attention and listening, comprehension, memory, recall and organisation of language and expression.Being able to communicate is one of the most important skills we need in life. Almost everything we do involves communication; everyday tasks such as learning at school, asking for food and drink, sorting out problems, making friends and having fun. These all rely on our ability to communicate with each other.” (Makaton.org)
(nb: Makaton is known as a multi modal approach, meaning it uses signs, symbols and speech. Signs are never used without speech, but are used to support speech and aid comprehension. Children will naturally drop signs when/if they develop comprehensible speech. Care givers can continue to sign to aid comprehension. Symbols can be used with signs and speech or as stand alone, concrete points of reference.)
Makaton builds on a young child’s natural communication strengths of pointing and gesturing, which develop before speech. It can be used as a bridge to speech or a communication tool in its own right. Research supports that learning to sign aids a child’s overall communication and vocabulary acquisition and fosters a strong bond between the care giver and the child. Makaton signing relies on eye contact and full attention while naturally slowing the pace of speech of the care giver, providing the child with the perfect communication model. Makaton helps bring songs, stories and rhymes to life for children of all abilities, allowing them to really engage in the joy of singing and music. (For an example See Singinghands.org)