Christie, I was offered a freee Signalong course (phase 1) through Portage when Amelia was about 6 months old. I suppose it makes sense because we are very local to where Signalong is based in Kent.
TBH I just wish it could all be standardised. If we go to one SALT group they use Makaton, another Signalong. Also by watching Something Special when it was on- that confused matters for a while! So Amelia (and us) have a bit of a combination of the 2, but mostly Signalong.
Do you have any feedback from the Signalong Oxford Reading Tree resources? I don't know much about it, but our local DSA group were wondering if we should buy them in. We are thinking about starting our own resource library.
(sorry for hijack.)
Putting your thumb in your mouth is the Makaton sign for water...... Obviously context will make a difference.
I hate the competitiveness that has grown up around Makaton vs Signalong. When we first did signing I don't think Signalong was around and its what our SLT did, so that's what we did. We have continued with Makaton just because it seems much more common, I've never come across a professional who doesn't use Makaton if they use signing.....
Putting you thumb in your mouth is the sign for water but we have a different sign that we use for drink. we use the sign for milk, but with one hand and use that for drink in general. So my right hand opens and closes as thought squeezing an udder! I found the drink sign too close to the sign for food, at least when she signed to me so I wasn't sure if she as thirsty or hungry so adapted the sign to suit me.
How about using your index finger and drawing a circle around your lips? You can do the maggie impersonation still if you like
To make it even more confusing, putting your thumb in your mouth is the Makaton for drinking water and rubbing your cheek with the back of your knuckles is the sign for other water, like bath water...... we just use one and also make up what works best for us, e.g. twiglets!
if I say 'how was school' she just says 'schhol, friends' and smiles, so i guess that is an answer really!
If she asks for soemthing to eat i go through a list and we get thre in the end, so I'll say 'do you want grapes' 'no grapes', 'do you want a banana' 'no nana', 'do you want a biscuit' 'bitit, yessss, bidit' and the smile is a dead giveaway!
If I whisper say 'Love you daddy', she'll whisper back 'daddy' at me!
if I ask her do you want to go on the swing she'll sort of hiss 'swingg' through her grin. So her positve answers are repeat the last/key word, negative answers, shove a 'noooooo' in front!
TC, have you considered using some pictures as well? It would help with choices (although you can get bogged down in having 100s of the effing things!). To make matters more confusing, the way you and HITC do "what" sounds like Makaton for "where" which is why they probably do what that way (what a great sentence!).
Bethron - I was probably signing a few signs to dd for a good 6-9 months before she started doing them back. I did get disheartened at times and wondered why I was doing it but it really is worth perservering as it is so amazing when they do start signing and can finally communicate properly!
Also, I found that once dd got the first one she picked up others much more quickly. It was like she got the concept and then was/is really keen to learn more.
She signed Mummy this morning for the first time .
Davros - I just discovered that how I sign 'what' is actually 'where'in Makaton. Am beginnig to realise the downside to making up my own signs!
I suppose I have just gone with the flow really. We had the opportunity to go on the Signalong course. Amelia's SN nursery use Signalong and some of the teachers at her mainstream nursery are trained. So it made sense that that was our main source of sign.
At our private SALT, they use Makaton, but if it's a new sign I don't feel it really matters and we learn that, if she signs different from what dd already knows then I will say so.
Amelia's sign knowledge is amazing, she picks up new signs so quickly now- I can't keep up with her and have to run to my manuals for reference!