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Sign language helps Hugh

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Student background

Student Hugh
School Intermediate

Hugh was confident and enthusiastic about coming to intermediate school, but the transition did not turn out to be as smooth as we had hoped.

While he tried to communicate with teachers, teacher aides and his classmates by gesture and speech, we could not readily understand him.

We needed to find an effective shared communication system.

We had noticed that Hugh was signing some words, which he had been taught as a young boy. Hugh’s speech language therapist reviewed all interventions to date, including a computer software program and a phonics programme, and suggested it might be appropriate for Makaton sign language (Makaton) to be introduced for communication.

How exciting it was, within a few months, to see not only some improvement in clarity of speech, but also Hugh developing recognition of written words we identified as essential in his individual education programme (IEP).

Hugh’s transition to secondary school includes a plan for his teachers and teacher aides to learn Makaton.