Needing to use sign language can be very isolating for a child and they are often excluded from natural conversation. The use of signing (both BSL and Makaton) has increased in popularity, but are we using this tool to its maximum effect for children with language and communication needs?
Sarah Billingham joins Dale in this episode ‘Should everyone learn to sign?’ and highlights that a great deal of time and emphasis is spent teaching modern foreign languages, but how much time is spent teaching children how to communicate with peers that have communication needs? Are we equipping them for all of the interactions they may have as adults?
Some schools and settings are doing a great job of introducing signing to support basic communication but are not embedding this across the setting. This therefore limits some of the communication and social opportunities for the children in their settings. Listen to hear Sarah emphasize the need to change cultures in schools so that signing is seen as a more integral part of learning and how everyone can benefit.
About Sarah Billingham
Sarah Billingham is a specialist teacher, she runs Confident Kids, a unique Early Years service.
She equips parents, carers and practitioners with expert knowledge and the practical tools they need to offer their little people the very best communication support they can.
Sarah has been working with children with speech and language needs for over 16 years in mainstream and specialist settings.