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Not sure where to put this...

As an older mum, I am not sure how much parents know about speech therapy programs.

I tend to assume everyone is familiar with Makaton and PECS ( Picture Exchange Communication SYstem), but I am guessing that these are new ideas to some parents?

My son started school at 2 1/2 and is at a Specialist School, so he has had speech therapy within school. He started Makaton at 3 and we did too!

At first we tried learning the whole alphabet via a video. It was a teaching aid from the beginning of time and we fell asleep. We then got the books and brought the Dave Benson Phillips video ( you could only get it on special order from WH Smith). That was better!
We tried food and drink, and drink was quickly learnt, but food wasn't...tried biscuit...yep he signed that one!
He still used the pointing and grunting methods though! It took a long, long time before it became an established communication method. In the meantime he got quite frustrated.
We always sign and say as we know people who get confused and only sign and it is easy to get like that.Sad We did too sometimes.)

Writing with Symbols came later and at school he uses WIDGIT programmes. This is the written word with picture symbols alongside so that again it helps to make sense of words.
I gave our local library such a hard time last year as there are some new books on the market that have symbols writing in the them and they are normal story books for children. I wanted the library to buy them and in the end they did... available at Chelmsford Library, but can be requested from any library as a request to Chelmsford.
They are difficult to google... Signs Making Sense books...email makaton info via webpage and they will give you web link. ( They were selling the books alongside their own).

PECS...
My son did this years ago. Our school was one of the first in our county to try it.
My son struggled with stage one. It took 8 weeks for him to grasp the concept. The others got it, and he didn't. They went to stage 3, stage 4...he didn't get it. Then he suddenly got it!
He went through the stages like lightening... several weeks later he started to speak and we cried.

My son is severely autistic and for his first lesson of speech therapy, he had to learn to roll a ball back and forth with his teacher. This is learning to take turns when speaking...I have met a few adults that could do with starting at this stage! Big GrinWink


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