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Using Signs and Symbols to Communicate
Sign Language is a visual means of communicating using gestures, facial expression, and body language.
Using signs can help children who have no speech (either because they have communication difficulties or are very young) or whose speech is unclear. Children’s cognitive awareness often develops ahead of their speech. This may leave them feeling frustrated as they might know what they want but are unable to express it. Signing can help empower children to express themselves and alleviate frustration.
According to research from The Communication Trust, it is estimated that 10% of all children have long term or persistent speech, language and communication difficulties. This is often known as speech, language and communication needs (SLCN).
7% of children have speech, language and communication difficulties as their main difficulty. This is also referred to as specific language impairment and is often severe and complex.
3% of children have speech, language and communication difficulties as part of another condition.
Communication is at the heart of cognitive, social, emotional, and behavioural development in children. Encouraging your child to embrace the idea of alternative communication skills can help develop their general confidence and self-esteem - and prepare them for signing and symbols used in the pre-school and early years environment.
Tips on learning British Sign Language:
1. There are no capital or lowercase letters in BSL.
2. Make sure that consistency is maintained between your hands.
3. It does not matter which hand you use to sign, but we typically use our dominant hand. The other hand is called the base hand.
4. Imagine that your dominant hand is the pen, and your base hand is the paper. It will help make you master the method of signing faster.
According to research from The Communication Trust, it is estimated that 10% of all children have long term or persistent speech, language and communication difficulties
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