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Mackaton course

(22 Posts)
ninathenana Tue 21-Jan-14 16:04:53

DD and I are doing a one day a week course for Mackaton(sp) signing next month. This is similar to BSL but for those with special needs other than deafness.
I was surprised that she is charged for this. As it looks like this will be her only form of communication with DGS who at nearly 2 yrs is just begining to use some signs all though at the moment it is sporadic.
AIBU to expect this to be provided for parents. I expect and am quiet willing to pay for my course.

ninathenana Tue 21-Jan-14 16:06:51

DGS gets DLA

kittylester Tue 21-Jan-14 16:11:39

I don't know the rules Nina but it seems harsh Someone who does know will be along axon sunshine

JessM Tue 21-Jan-14 16:15:56

What is the organisation that is providing the course?

kittylester Tue 21-Jan-14 16:31:49

Axon = soon! Silly phone!

ninathenana Tue 21-Jan-14 16:47:31

Will check that with DD JessM

grannyactivist Tue 21-Jan-14 17:03:37

I'm also going to do a Makaton course next month. We have a little boy of almost four in our church family whose only form of communication is signing, so we're all doing a one day course. The cost is £20 each for the day (very cheap considering the programme) and it's provided by the Prospects charity. The boy's family get a carer's allowance and he gets DLA too; he also has a Portage worker who teaches Makaton signs to the whole family during her regular visits. Mum and dad will be paying for the course like everyone else as, in their view, it's to pay for things like this that they get the extra money for.

ninathenana Tue 21-Jan-14 22:49:44

DGS also has a Portage worker. Although she has said she won't be coming much longer as DGS has 'caught up with his development' odd then that he has no speech, no coordination, is not weaned and is nowhere near ready to begin potty training. When the Portage stops he will lose his place at the special needs nursery group. He hasn't even attended his first session yet. sad for DD as she was looking forward to connecting with the other parents and not having to explain DGS behaviour etc to parents with 'avarage' children.

The course DD and I are doing is run by NHS. DD has not complained about the cost. It was just my opinion that such a vital part of a disabled persons life i.e. being able to communicate their needs, was not covered by NHS.

LizG Tue 21-Jan-14 23:52:44

I go with you Nina the course should be free to one family member with others possibly paying for themselves. I love to watch Justin signing on CBBs and would like to learn more myself, did do a taster course with WI. Hasten to add I watch Justin and Mr Tumble with youngest DGS smile

Humbertbear Wed 22-Jan-14 17:40:09

My 2 year old grand daughter ( and therefore the rest of us) learnt Makaton and it was a real breakthrough for her, allowing her to communicate without getting frustrated. The parents paid for the course and passed on their knowledge to us, copying the sheets. There is an app available that shows all the signs but you have to pay for it.

Penstemmon Wed 22-Jan-14 18:40:18

I do agree it feels a bit tough but I suppose the NHS pot of money is not limitless and as GA said the DLA is paid to contribute towards the cost of meeting the additional needs a child with SEN /disability has. I am sure it is only a small amount compared to the need but i guess that is the thinking.

We taught all the kids at school Makaton & used the signs in class as we have a unit for children with SEND and they were in all classrooms alongside all the children so it was important they could communicate.

goldengirl Wed 22-Jan-14 21:17:14

Justin Fletcher on CBeebies (not sure if he's still on) uses Makaton I think. My daughter has always signed to her children and I use basic signs to my GC as well as speaking when they're small and can't speak themselves. It's a great way of communicating with ALL small children as well as those with hearing and speech difficulties

whenim64 Wed 22-Jan-14 21:25:57

Yes, he's still on. We were watching him yesterday, and he was signing with some children who have disabilities. A friend has twin grandaughters who learned to sign at nursery at the age of one, and they picked it up very quickly before they could talk.

Flowerofthewest Wed 22-Jan-14 21:38:59

I have always worked with people with Learning Disabilities and have always used Makaton. We also used to be a 'Befriender' to a little girl with Down Syndrome, my, then, 4 year old learned Makaton from watching her and I communicate. Once on a railway station we were sitting near a young man with DS and his dad. The father said to his son that he was going to get a cup of tea for them both. After a bout 5 minutes the young man started to get agitated and cry for his father. My little one walked up to him and signed (with speech of course) that 'Your father has gone to get a drink for you' The young man immediately smiled and settled down. I was so proud of my little boy. But it came back to bite me when he started school. He was a mouse in costume in the school performance. He started to wipe the whiskers off another mouses' face with his feet. I caught his attention and signed 'No, Stop, Bad' he immediately signed back 'mummy, pig' Great!!!

When shopping if I need the loo I sign to DH if we are away apart. Once I was sitting on the sofa when he loomed over me signing 'toilet' I frowned and shook my head, he persisted in signing 'toilet' smiling and nodding his head. I said what one earth was he asking me if I wanted the loo for. He looked puzzled (not as puzzled as I) and said that he thought he was asking me if I wanted a drink. confused

susieb755 Wed 22-Jan-14 21:48:08

Makaton is very good, and very simple to learn.
I also used a system called PECS - picture exchange system = its very good and stops the children getting frustrated - its a board withe velcro, and little pictures attached with velcro that the child can take off and show you what they want - drink/toy/ sleep etc.

susieb755 Wed 22-Jan-14 21:49:08

Flowerofthewest Thu 23-Jan-14 09:25:48

PECS is very good, I agree, we used that method with children with Autism and found it helped with their frustration to know exactly what was going to happen and what had already happened.

JessM Thu 23-Jan-14 09:44:41

Has she asked whether there are any free places or "bursaries" for her course?
Strange that the NHS is obliged to spend a lot of money on translators for patients but does not fund this - or maybe it subsidises?

Penstemmon Thu 23-Jan-14 10:01:53

If the makaton trainer is not an NHS employee then i guess somewhere that persons fee has to be paid. 10-20 people paying £20 is not over the top i suppose..unless you don't have it to spare sad

gratefulgran54 Thu 23-Jan-14 20:22:04

If anyone is interested in learning Makaton, the first place to start would be youtube. There are loads of videos on there teaching the signs. The Makaton charity website is also a good source of information.
I work in a special needs school, and we all use it all the time, whatever the childs need/ability. We also use PECS extensively, particularly for autistic/non-verbal children.
We are lucky in that we have a wonderful lady who passes on her knowledge of Makaton by running courses for staff and families at least once a year, free of charge, but I can understand (sort of) that if the course is independent of an SEN school, then there would be a charge for it.
Another way to learn it, which really appeals to little ones especially, is SingingHandsUK. Two lovely ladies, Suzanne and Tracy, who sing childrens songs/rhymes using Makaton. They can also be found on youtube.

If you are able, I would recommend to anyone that they learn the basics of Makaton. It is a simpler version of BSL, but still recognisable to anyone who is only BSL trained. And it comes in handy with any child I've found, special needs or no, particularly if you want to emphasise something. My 3yr old DGS certainly reacts more promptly if I reinforce what I am saying with my hands, whether positive or negative!

I used to practice my Makaton with a profoundly deaf friend, although some of the signs he taught me from BSL I certainly couldn't use in school, the naughty chap! Handy to know if someone annoys me, and I want to react without seeming to lose my temper though grin.

Enjoy your course nina, it's a shame you have to pay, but it will be SO worth it to be able to communicate more effectively with your DGC. smile

mugnanny Mon 27-Jan-14 17:56:54

One of my GD's goes to a mainstream primary school which has a special needs school attached. All of the children are taught Makaton and it is beautiful to go to assemblies and see them all signing to the hymns and Happy Birthday. This school is not a high flying school but it is caring and sharing and it shows.

PRINTMISS Tue 28-Jan-14 15:02:33

I have found this really interesting. Our son is of course old now, and has no speech, but I have always used my hands when talking, (the old 'you'd be dumb without your hands!') and so he learned very early on to use sounds and signs. Several attempts have been made to teach him Makaton, and everyone knows that he can do it and in fact will, if there is another person with speech difficulties, however, he flatly refuses to use it himself when in other company, but understanding perfectly, when someone signs to him. He has his own particular signs which are really obvious, and manages very well, he has had to really, and although he gets really frustrated, has learned to live with it. You might like this tale of when he was really young - I was busy doing something at the sink and he came to me putting his hand to his mouth (food/drink) - and I said in a minute - back again, pulling skirt same sign plus prrrrr (cat), -Mum busy, in a minute - finally, a BIG PULL at skirt same signs and prrrr but pulling - I finally give in follow him and there it is CAT under chair eating MOUSE - I had missed 'eeeeeh' (loud squeaking noise) for mouse. Patience and persistence.