Hi I am Laura Black and I am Charmaine Tearle and we’re speech and language therapists. We both run April cottage therapies and we’ve created some top tips on how to support your child’s communication.
Here’s some reasons why signing might be right for you and your child.
Signing can be a really nice way to help your child to understand language before they’re using it. So it can give extra information about what you’re saying and where you’re going by adding a little sign as to what you’re doing. So when you’re going out in the car, instead of just saying, it’s time to go out, you might add the sign car.
Signing can help your child to express themselves when they’re getting frustrated or they can’t meet that need. So if they don’t remember a word or they’re frustrated and they can’t get those words out, it can be really nice to help with that. So it might be that they want to ask for more milk or they want to say it’s all finished. And actually that can be a really nice cue for you as a parent.
So if they’re not looking at you at the time, it can cue them into who’s speaking in the room. And that can really help when the environment is really busy or noisy, or they can’t quite cue into who’s talking.
First words often come between 12 and 15 months, but signing can happen a little bit earlier than that and can bridge the gap between a child’s understanding of words and use of words.