Dawn is an experienced Makaton Regional Tutor and is now running Makaton Sign Language courses for parents, carers and professionals- Beginners, Foundation and Enhanced courses within Gloucester area and beyond. Dawn will also travel to you and provide a Makaton Taster session to parents and staff concentrating on frequently used signs and speech in your environment.

Originally devised in 1972/3 by Margaret Walker, Speech and Language Therapist, and then updated and revised in 1996 when additional signing vocabulary was added for children and adults with a variety of speech, language and communication needs.

Makaton uses signs, symbols and speech to help people communicate. Signs are always used with speech, in English language word order. Research shows that signing with all children from an early age is very effective on building language skills and speech- signing does not prevent speech it actually encourages it! It also helps provide extra clues and understanding about what someone is saying- a spoken word is said and gone in an instant, whereas signing key words- a child can hear the word, see the word, do the word and say the word– all four learning styles are covered. Using signs can help people who have no speech or whose speech is very unclear and children who are finding it difficult to understand language. Using symbols can help people who have limited speech and to support early literacy skills it can also help children complete routine everyday tasks like getting dressed in the morning and build on their independence. These are regulated Makaton Courses by the Makaton Charity and are the same throughout the country. Dawn also enhances the courses with many examples of children and adults she has worked with and what worked for them.

If you are a parent or carer for a baby or child with additional needs Makaton is a wonderful way of enhancing your baby or child’s communication skills before they can talk, at the same time building on their understanding of language and speech and reducing their frustration. If this is something you’d like to do please contact Dawn for a place on a Beginners Makaton Signing Course which is run over two days-you will learn signs and symbols from the first four stages of the Makaton Core Vocabulary and additional vocabulary. You will receive a workbook with all the signs and symbols you’ve been taught over the two days. The next Makaton Beginners course is taking place on Tuesdays 6th and 13th November 2018. No previous experience of signing is necessary. Please email Dawn for more information and to register your interest for a course.

The Makaton Foundation courses are designed for professionals, carers and parents who would like to further their signing knowledge, background and theory and learn more signs to use with the children or adults in their care. These are run over two full days (9:30-3:30pm) and all four sessions have to be attended in order to complete the course- you will learn stages 1-4 and additional vocabulary of the Makaton Core Vocabulary. You will receive four workbooks with all the slides and theoretical background information about Makaton as well as two pocket books covering all the signs and symbols covered in the two days. This course costs £150 or £120 if you are a parent with a child who has speech, language or communication needs or a full time student. The next Foundation course is on Tuesdays 4th and 11th September 2018. Please email Dawn for more information and to book onto a course.

The Makaton Enhancement course is for professionals, parents and carers who have completed a Foundation course previously and bring their certificate as proof to this course. This course is over three days and covers stages 5-8 of the Core Vocabulary and builds on signing and symbol skill and knowledge at the sentence, conversational and story level. This course costs £210 and covers all six workbooks, pocket books of additional signs and symbols, attendance certificate and tuition. The next Enhancement course will take place on Tuesdays 12th and 19th and 26th June 2018.

All courses take place at Allcooper Security Group Offices which are newly refurbished offices at 76 Kingsholm Road, Gloucester GL1 3BD the space is light and comfortable with free supplies of tea, coffee and biscuits provided.

 Please feel free to or call me on 01452 740453 if you would like to know more about the next courses within Gloucestershire or if you would like Dawn to provide a Makaton taster session/ a Makaton Beginners sign language course for parents and carers/ Makaton Foundation Sign Language Course/ Makaton Enhancement Course in your area/ Makaton Safeguarding Sign Language Course.