Piper is 3½ years old and was referred a year ago for speech therapy following concerns being raised by ourselves and her nursery at her lack of words. We're still on the assessment journey to find out if there's an underlying reason for her lack of speech but want to share our Makaton progress so far....
Following our initial SALT assessment, we were introduced to Makaton in March 2012. We started with the basics - hello, please, thank you, juice. Thankfully Piper is quite the little actress so making gestures and signs that would be understood as words seems to have come very naturally to her.
We quickly moved onto animals and a couple of nursery rhymes and again she just loves every one. We are very lucky that six months into using Makaton, Piper started ante-preschool nursery where all her teachers are Makaton trained and love having her in class so they can practice their skills too.
She receives weekly speech therapy at nursery and that along with Mr Tumble, we estimate she knows approximately 100 signs and uses around 30 spontaneously and in up to 5 sign combinations.
The relief Makaton has brought to our family is immeasurable. The tantrums and crying (from both of us!) has reduced and we feel much more positive going forward now we have a method of communication that works for us and that we all enjoy.
We are so proud of her and have been actively encouraging everyone we know to learn some of the basics as unfortunately we don't know how and when Piper's speech is going to progress. My husband and I have attended the Beginners' Workshop and are hoping they run the next stage in our area soon, as we are currently playing catch up to our amazing little girl!