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, LEA and ICAN. Dawn is also a Makaton Sign Language Regional Tutor offering Levels 1,2, 3 and 4 ONLINE training via zoom as well as Safeguarding Makaton Tutor, Using Singing with Makaton, Makaton Signing for Babies and Makaton Signing for Babies Train the Trainer 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. Dawn is now offering families further afield virtual speech and language therapy advice and support to avoid having to travel and during the coronavirus pandemic. Please email me if you’d like more information.

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 offering Makaton Signing for Babies training ONLINE 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 organization 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.

Makaton Sign Language Courses are designed for parents and carers with children or adults who have communication – needs and professionals who work with children and adults with any communication need. Makaton is a multi modal sign language in that every sign has a symbol to represent it. The Makaton Charity have recently updated the courses so the old Foundation course is now known as Makaton Level 1, 2, 3 and Level 4 and teaches signs and symbols from Stages 1-8 of the Makaton Core Vocabulary. It costs £72.50 per Level for two sessions of online training Email me to register your interest.

These courses are held on the zoom platform which Dawn pays for and it is great, very easy to use and Dawn will send you the joining instructions and links to click to join the meetings which are 3.5 hours in length. 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 and 4 courses. You can then go on to become a Makaton Tutor like myself by attending additional Tutor training.

Next Level 1  Course ONLINE: 2 sessions- April 22nd and 29th 2021 am . Please email dawn@peterpiperpicked.co.uk to register your interest for this course. 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 are posted out to you prior to the course with all the signs and symbols learnt over each of the two sessions which also includes all the presentation slides and background reading and research.

Makaton Level 2 Course ONLINE:  2 sessions-May 6th and 13th 9:30 am. 

Makaton Level 3 Course ONLINE: 2 sessions- May 20th and 27th  am at 9:30am is the next stage of training after completing the level 1 and level 2 Courses and teaches stages 5-6 of the Core Vocabulary.

Makaton Level 4 Course ONLINE: 2 sessions- June 10th and 17th at 9:30am.

Using Makaton with Singing: 1 session- April 1st at 9:30am (£37.50)

Safeguarding Makaton Sessions- March 3rd, 10th, 24th and 31st 2021 at 9:30am (£170 for all four sessions)

Makaton Taster Sessions

Dawn will provide Makaton Taster sessions for various groups ONLINE- preschool nurseries, hospital staff, staff groups,  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 30-50 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 £15 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 a Makaton Safeguarding Tutor, Using Makaton with singing, MSB and MSB TTT Tutor. 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. (More information on An Independent Practice page) 



Makaton Tutor _2_ (002)Johansen IAS logo

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