Sign Supported English

Since Mia was 3 we have been using Makaton sign language to support her communication efforts. With Makaton you sign the key words of a sentence and there are no different tenses for verbs. For example you would speak the sentence “Look at the dog over there!” signing the key words “look”, “dog” and “there”.

For us it is quite limiting as our goal is to help Mia talk. As such, it is better if she is learning to sign using the rules of language, the grammar, correctly for when her speech progresses enough to speak the words. British Sign Language (BSL) has a different grammatical structure to our spoken language. I spoke to a friend yesterday, who told me about ‘sign supported English’. We would speak the sentence, using BSL sign as you speak, so you can have more complex signing with different tenses etc but the same grammatical structure as spoken speech.

Sadly, there are no books, manuals or courses for this. We are trying to find a BSL dictionary so we can get started. Seems easier said than done! I found a battered one is on Ebay. Yesterday it was £0.99, bidding finishes tonight and it is on about £15/ £20. And that one’s falling to pieces! I will find one. I am a determined lady!

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2 comments on “Sign Supported English
  1. Maria pepper says:

    Wow nibby. Wow Mia you are both working so hard on your speech and how well you are doing!
    I raised £1800 for cancer running 5k last year, what can be raised to help a lovely you young girl that I know trying so hard with life and with all her life ahead to achieve everything that she and and her family want her to achieve, it’s hard to imagine but with friends behind you anything is possible. The NHS are amazing in a critical situation but with anything long term well I understand your frustration. I love your page and would love to talk more about giving Mia the attention she deserves. Mx

    • nibby says:

      Thank you Maria. It has been a tough 7 years but I’m keeping the faith and we are working hard at it all day every day! More than happy to talk anytime!

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