Dawn McMullan-Cooper – Founder of Peter Piper Picked – Highly Specialist Speech and Language Therapist

Since graduating from Central School of Speech and Drama in 1990 Dawn has worked with children and their families in a variety of settings as an NHS Speech and Language Therapist in London, Worcestershire, Gloucestershire and Bristol.

Early in her career Dawn worked in Canada for five years and became a HANEN trainer, training parents, carers and professionals how to encourage and improve their children’s speech and communication skills in a variety of ways. She has worked within multi-disciplinary treatment centres closely with Physiotherapists and Occupational Therapists, Children centres, Health Centres, Early diagnostic clinics, Language Units, Special schools and with complex special needs. She also set up and ran the ICAN Early Years Language Centre in Worcester which was a centre of excellence in the area working with children with DLD Developmental Language Difficulties within the NHS. Dawn is also a Regional Sign Language Makaton Tutor and Safeguarding Makaton Tutor offering training and teaching of signs and symbols to parents and carers and staff working with children and adults who may benefit from signing to help understand language and use it to get their needs across.

Makaton Sign Language Courses

Research proves that signing with all children from an early age does not prevent speech and language but actually encourages it! Makaton Sign language always has speech as an accompaniment to the sign!

  • Sign Language lowers frustration
  • Increases speech and language skills
  • Slows your speech down
  • Your child can ‘see’ the word, hear the word, do the word and say the word
  • Fun/relaxed group setting
  • Highly Specialist Speech and language therapist with lots of tips on early speech and language and how to promote it

Dawn is happy to come to any Ofsted registered site if you are a group of parents with babies or toddlers if you’d like to learn signs, a toddler group or Nursery and would like to learn signs to work with babies or toddlers and parents in your care- you could become a Makaton Friendly organisation and use their logo on your newsletters or website. Please contact  dawn@peterpiperpicked.co.uk if you would like to learn more or find out whether Dawn could do some training for your group.

Dawn is doing further training in early 2018 with Makaton to provide Safeguarding workshops teaching safeguarding signs and symbols  for professionals working with children and adults within Gloucestershire- watch this space for more information.

Makaton Beginners Sign Language Course is designed for parents and carers with children or adults who have communication – needs and is exactly the same as the Makaton Foundation Sign Language Course- it covers the same vocabulary, signs and symbols with less theory and background information. Dawn will provide a discount for parents with children who have speech, language and communication needs and students. It costs £150 for two days hands on training . Next Makaton Level 1 and 2 Course is being held on 3rd & 10th March 2020. Please email me to register your interest.

Makaton Sign Language Course- Level 1 and 2 

This course is designed for parents and carers and professionals working with children and adults with communication needs. It costs £150 for two full days hands-on training in a relaxed village hall environment at Frampton on Severn with easy access to the motorway Junction 13 M5 (£120 for students, parents or carers with children with speech, language and communication needs). The best way to learn Makaton is to attend a workshop. It means that you learn with other people who need to use Makaton within their work, share your experiences, receive feedback on your signing and symbol work and enables you to practice with others. It also gives you the opportunity to meet and build a relationship with a Makaton Tutor and other communication professionals who can help and support you in the future.

Makaton training is recommended for participants who need a more detailed knowledge about using and applying Makaton to develop the communication skills of others. You start with Level 1 course, Level 2 course and then progress to Level 3 course. You can then go on to become a Regional Tutor like myself by attending additional training.

Next courses: 2 days-  3rd and 10th March 2020 9:30-3:30pm and November 2019 at Frampton on Severn Village Hall, The Street, Junction 13 M5 Gloucester GL2 7EA (150+ signs and symbols learnt) and then Please email dawn@peterpiperpicked.co.uk to register your interest for any of the above courses. To secure your place on a course payment in full is required up front. You do receive a Certificate of attendance on completion of these courses and all the workbooks during the training sessions to take home.

Makaton Level 3 Course is the next stage of training after completing the level 1 and level 2 Courses and teaches the next four stages of the Core Vocabulary. A Certificate of attendance is required to show that the participant has attended the previous level 1 and Level 2 courses. The next Level 3 course will take place in June 2020  at Frampton on Severn Village Hall GL2 7EA please email dawn@peterpiperpicked.co.uk to register your interest and for more details.

Makaton Taster Sessions

Dawn will provide Makaton Taster sessions for various groups- preschool nurseries, primary schools, care centre staff and University Students to inform them what Makaton Sign Language and symbols are all about. These sessions last 90 minutes and  cover background information and you will learn around 40 signs and symbols to see whether you’d like to learn more on the two day courses. Fees are kept very low for this training (at around £10 per person) but contact Dawn for exact costings depending on numbers and your location or for any other training in the area of speech and language development.  

Professional Accreditations A full member of MHCPC (Health & Care Professions Council), a fully registered member of MRCSLT (Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists) and the MASLTIP (Association of Speech and Language Therapists in Independent Practice). Dawn is now a Makaton Regional Tutor for Gloucestershire and beyond and recently completed her Makaton Safeguarding Train the Trainer day so will be running Safeguarding Signing classes very soon. Registered Member of  ICO (Information Commissioner’s Office)for GDPR requirements. Dawn has an Enhanced Certificate for Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) and is eligible for the Update service and has up to date First Aid Training and Safeguarding. Dawn is also a Johansen Individualised Auditory Stimulation provider. Johansen IAS can be of benefit to children, adolescents and adults with a variety of speech and/or language difficulties (including specific learning difficulties and dyslexia) or auditory processing difficulties.



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What to do next

If you have any concerns regarding your child’s communication skills then please feel free to or call me on 01452 740453