Makaton Monday ~ Noise

NOISE!!! How is it that I have never shared this sign before?!!  Its one of the most used signs over the last few years and one of the first Bruiser ever used, self-taught from watching Mr Tumble no less! We all know the infamous ‘whats that noise?‘ line!

Noise is a big issue for Bruiser. It’s not a particular noise that bothers him per se, nor does it have to be particularly loud, it could be lots of quiet noises all happening at once. It all depends on his general mood, how the day is going, whats already happened. But ‘noise’ usually is the hair that broke the camels back when it comes to meltdowns.

I’m sure you’ve seen in previous posts pictures of the little man in his ear defenders doing the simplest of tasks. But just blocking out one sense when he’s concentrating or starting to show signs of distress helps make it all a little better for him.

The irony though that I have a child that hates noise yet, he’s the loudest child I know, is not lost on me!

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Noise

Noise

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Sign/Symbol used with the kind permission of the © The Makaton Charity 2012

For any help or advice in respect of Makaton, please contact the Makaton Charity directly.

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MAKATON MONDAY

Makaton Monday ~ Glasses

Hello! Its been a while hasn’t it 🙂

You’ve probably guessed by now from the title…. Yes, just to add to his already eccentric personality, Bruiser has glasses!!

glasses

 

He looks quite the intellect doesn’t he and soooo grown up! We are already referring to him as ‘Brains’ because of his uncanny resemblance to Brains from Thunderbirds 😀

Along with new glasses comes a new sign! and new signs don’t come along all that often anymore. Gone are the days when every interaction consisted of quick references to our Makaton books 🙂

Even though Bruiser now favours talking over signing (that’s a story for another day). We still introduce the new signs as they crop up. His talking isn’t the clearest so it’s nice having the back up of Makaton when communication breaks down and believe me it does, often! During the come down from a meltdown, he seems to respond to visual interaction more so signing is quite often the only way we can get through to him.

Bruiser is quite liking his glasses though and I think he likes the sign for glasses too. He says its ‘ike awwwing eyes on your wace’ (like drawing eyes on your face). I couldn’t have put it better myself!!

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glasses

GLASSES

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Sign/Symbol used with the kind permission of the © The Makaton Charity 2012

For any help or advice in respect of Makaton, please contact the Makaton Charity directly.

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MAKATON MONDAY

 

 

 

Makaton Monday ~ Yorkshire Pudding

Little did I know when I asked the Makaton Charity if they had a sign for ‘Yorkshire pudding’ how much it would come to mean to us.

Bruiser LOVES Yorkshire Puddings. He has a very limited diet and can be fussy with those few foods but Yorkshire Puddings, he could eat till the cows come home.

Back in January we had a difficult period with our communication with Bruiser. He was getting very upset at mealtimes. Initially, we couldn’t figure out why. He was upset with what he had on his plate and refused to eat it some of the time. We quickly realised that he wasn’t being his usual fussy self, he was asking for a certain food. But what? We went through all his foods and was met with frustration and anger from Bruiser that we didn’t understand. This obviously got very upsetting for us all.

One particular day I asked the boys what they’d like for their dinner and Bruiser attempted to tell me. After a huge meltdown about it, I offered my hand and asked him to show me. He led me to kitchen and looked bewildered around the room. I started his search off by opening the freezer and getting all the draws out and asked him to find it and show me.

That he did. After only a few minutes he lifted out the frozen Yorkshire Puddings (yes I’m ashamed to say I’m a Yorkshire lass that doesn’t cook her own!). This was what he wanted and proceeded to tell me ‘I wuv vem’. I told him they were Yorkshire Puddings. He tried to say it but couldn’t and got quite upset and frustrated with himself. (Bruiser is very much aware that he has a communication difficulty, but that’s a story for another day).

I assured him it was okay and that I would find a sign. I searched through all our books and believe me we have a lot now, but couldn’t find one. I tweeted the  and asked for their help.

Unfortunately they replied to say that after looking through all their word lists they didn’t have one. However, they said that they would send a request to the sign team to create one. Now I know they are making and creating new signs all the time but this was still a bit WOW, they were making a sign for us!!

As with all the signs Bruiser has learnt over the last two years, the words usually come when he has a sign to use. As we had neither, I needed to help ease his frustration while we waited. I made the decision to use existing Makaton signs for him to communicate Yorkshire Puddings that we (his family) would understand. I used the finger spelling for Y to represent Yorkshire with the sign for Cake. Obviously you really can’t just go making up your own signs, but these were well-practiced, existing signs that he knew very well that I knew wouldn’t confuse him.

Like I said when he uses a sign, the sound/word eventually comes and this instance wasnt any different. Bruiser has started to say Yorkshire Pudding in his own little way 🙂

A week or so ago though, I got a lovely email from the Makaton team with the sign. I told Bruiser there was a new sign for Yorkshire Pudding and he got very excited. (he loves learning new signs!) Initially he refused to try it as he said it was ‘too difficoo’ (too difficult). But after a few days of watching me demonstrate it to him, he was more willing to try. He now loves asking and signing for ‘orksa pudiiiiiin’. The sign is also getting more and more accurate every time he tries it.

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The first part of the sign represents creating the batter and the second part is showing the raised edge of the pudding.

 yorkshire pudding

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Symbol used with the kind permission of the © The Makaton Charity 2012

For any help or advice in respect of Makaton, please contact the Makaton Charity directly.

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MAKATON MONDAY

Makaton Monday ~ Bird

BIRD

WHATS THAT NOISE BRUISER?

You are probably wondering what he is listening to! He is in fact listening to the birds that we have nesting under our bathroom floor!!

The little critters have found a little gap where the mortar has come away where the waste pipes come out of the exterior wall. We initially discovered it by chance a few weekends ago when a wasp came into the bathroom and then disappeared in a tiny gap under the bath. When we went looking for the wasp, we discovered a nest that looked relatively new.

A few days later we could hear some tiny tweets coming from under the floor.

The boys have been fascinated by it. They’ve watched the gap from outside watching the Mummy and Daddy birds come and go with food for their babies. They’ve spent countless minutes with their ears pressed to the floor just listening to the babies.

Bruiser took me by surprise though when I asked him what he could hear. He signed that he could hear birds but told me verbally they were ‘baby chicks’. Whilst I know this is the right sign to use in that context, I did wonder if Makaton had a sign for ‘chick’? I imagine that it’s not that dissimilar to ‘bird’??

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BIRD

BIRD

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Sign/Symbol used with the kind permission of the © The Makaton Charity 2012

For any help or advice in respect of Makaton, please contact the Makaton Charity directly.

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MAKATON MONDAY

 

Makaton Monday ~ Pretend

Lets Pretend. This is big at the moment in our house. Whilst it’s always been a huge part of Wrigglers play, its something which Bruiser really struggles with.

Part of his play therapy is to get him engaging in imaginative role play. It’s not as easy you’d first think! However, Wriggler has been amazing and has really taken the lead away from us with this. He does the imagining and Bruiser just follows his lead. They play all sorts together, shops, mummy‘s and daddy‘s, pirates, doctors, teachers. Wriggler tries to get Bruiser offering his ideas but he usually stands there looking lost.

Over time though, this pretend play with Wriggler has given him the confidence to want to play without him. This is huge!! He doesn’t make up his own play, he copies word for word, action for action what Wriggler has done with him. But that’s a start and something to work on. He’s even engaged in ‘pretend teacher’ play at nursery for very short snippets of time with other children. Bruiser will now come home from nursery and sign that he wants to ‘play pretend teachers’. It usually involves me sitting crossed legged on the floor while he ‘reads’ me a book. I then get a stamp for good listening. We have snack and then we are done. Then we repeat it again, and again, and again…. We aren’t allowed to change the routine of the play though as this throws him and because he’s got to think of something to imagine, he quickly becomes very anxious and eventually tells us that ‘me don’t know’.

This sign isn’t the easiest to learn. It took Bruiser a little while to master as there are two parts to the sign. But he uses it all the time at the moment. It’s lovely to see that he wants to imagine 🙂

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PRETEND

PRETEND

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Sign/Symbol used with the kind permission of the © The Makaton Charity 2012

For any help or advice in respect of Makaton, please contact the Makaton Charity directly.

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MAKATON MONDAY

Makaton Monday ~ Brother

This weeks sign is a bit of a blast from the past for me. I saw Bruiser using it when interacting with his brother this weekend and it made me realise that he hardly used it anymore yet when we started using Makaton two years ago it was amongst his most used signs and one of the first that we ever showed him.

When we started using Makaton, we knew very little about it and only had a few signs for the very basic ones ie Mummy, Daddy, Chocolate, Car, basically the words that were important to Bruiser. While there was a sign for Mummy and Daddy we didn’t know how to sign people’s names so he could sign his brother’s name and interact with him. We took the decision to show this one to Bruiser to use when we was talking about his brother Wriggler.

Obviously as time went on we figured out (nobody told us) that to sign a name you finger spell the first letter of the first name. Correcting how Bruiser used the sign wasn’t too difficult as we had always said ‘Brother Wriggler’ as we signed. For a while he used both this sign and also the letter for his brother’s name, then sometimes on their own. Eventually Brother was dropped all together.

Its only occurred to me this weekend that he very rarely uses it anymore, if at all. Yet clearly he’s never forgotten it 🙂

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brother

BROTHER

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Sign/Symbol used with the kind permission of the © The Makaton Charity 2012

For any help or advice in respect of Makaton, please contact the Makaton Charity directly.

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MAKATON MONDAY

Makaton Monday ~ Rocket

Bruiser loves Space and Rockets, FACT!! But those of you that follow my blog already know that don’t you 🙂

When we first started using Makaton with Bruiser, we were advised by his speech and language therapist that we needed to first use the signs that got him his needs across first and foremost, ie food, drink, favorite toy etc. But, his obsession with space and rockets was so great that we knew we had to find a way of finding out what the signs were to help him communicate his obsession. (unfortunately these weren’t included in any of the literature we were given and our SALT didn’t know them either)

We searched high and low for the signs and eventually came across something on the Makaton website in their Makachat forum. Someone else had asked for the sign for Rocket! It wasnt the sign picture but an explanation on how to do the sign.

“The sign for “space rocket” is your non dominant hand, flat palm down about chest height, and your dominant hand, with your index finger-pointing upwards. The dominant hand is behind the flat hand and shoots upwards finger first like a rocket” 

This was all we needed to know. Once Bruiser started using the sign, it wasnt long before the sounds came too and in his own little way he could then say ‘dotit’. The sense of relief we all felt at this time was amazing. We could all breathe a sign of relief.

A while after discovering ‘Rocket’, purely by chance we recorded a Something Special episode (as we do EVERYDAY) and this particular episode was about Space. So thank you to Justin and Mr Tumble, Bruiser could then also sign ‘Space Man’ ‘Space’ ‘Moon’ ‘Space Suit’. These few little signs enabled him to then play with his brother imaginatively. Wriggler did the imaginative stuff, Bruiser played along and they ‘talked’ in sign whilst playing.

These days their play is more verbal but Bruiser still throws in the signs.

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ROCKET

ROCKET

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bruiser signing rocket

This is Bruiser signing ROCKET on bonfire night back in 2012. As you can imagine Rockets were his favorite firework 🙂

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Only yesterday we watched a brand new episode of Something Special about the Planetarium. Another great episode that got Bruiser wanting to make a rocket just like Justin and….  we learnt a new sign to further feed his space obsession 😀

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Sign/Symbol used with the kind permission of the © The Makaton Charity 2012

For any help or advice in respect of Makaton, please contact the Makaton Charity directly.

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MAKATON MONDAY

 

Makaton Monday ~ The Over Under ‘Adventure’

I might have mentioned previously that Bruiser is OBSESSED with the Octonauts. You may have seen my post about how I made his Octonauts birthday cake. For those not familiar with the Octonauts, it is a cartoon on cbeebies for toddlers loosely based on some sea creatures / animals that ‘search rescue and protect’ other sea creatures. Not only is it a lovely cartoon, it is also very educational. My boys have learnt a lot, myself included!

Over under adventure

This was Bruiser exploring his new ‘OctoMax Suit’ that he bought with his Christmas money. With all his Octonauts toys very neatly lined up by size type/character in the background 🙂 On this occasion we watched ‘The Gulper Eeel’ episode on repeat as its the episode that features the OctoMax Suit.

Bruiser has collected all the characters and all the gups (the sea vehicles). He watches the cartoon everyday about 20-30 times. He reads the books at bedtime. He knows each individual episode from the opening few seconds of each one and which characters are in that episode. When you read to him, he knows what the rest of each page reads from the first line alone. (he has a fantastic memory)

When he watches the cartoon he goes off and collects the gups and characters he needs and then copies the episode with his toys. When its finished he will go off somewhere and reenact what he has seen, action for action and sometimes word for word! When he watches a new episode he’s not seen before he watches it repeatedly until he knows it. This time period is quite hard going for us all as Bruiser remains zoned in and doesn’t and wont do anything else.

Living with Bruiser and this obsession means we have to be on the ball with it too. We need to know and watch each episode with the same passion. When Bruiser wants a certain episode we need to know which one it is from the characters or gup that he is playing with. This is no easy feat when we have over 50 episodes in the sky+ box. As you can imagine there are a lot of meltdowns. As well as we know them too, it is the communication barrier which lets us down in our understanding of Bruiser.

Last week, a whole new series of Octonauts started. One particular one was an extra long special called ‘The Over Under Adventure’ which was on, on friday evening. (we’ve watched this over 50 times since then already!!). This gave us an opportunity to show Bruiser a new sign to communicate the name of the episode. For ‘adventure’ we are using the sign for ‘trip/outing’. He already knows ‘over’ and ‘under’. He took to using it straight away and has used it several times today (sunday).

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DAY OUT / TRIP (ADVENTURE)

TRIP / OUTING (ADVENTURE)

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Bruiser signs this without a second hand in position. We are working on the sign and repeating it back to him correctly when he uses it. I know within the week he will have corrected the sign himself!

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Sign/Symbol used with the kind permission of the © The Makaton Charity 2012

For any help or advice in respect of Makaton, please contact the Makaton Charity directly.

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MAKATON MONDAY

Makaton Monday ~ Teacher

I love this sign. I’ve been using it for what seems like ages now but Bruiser never has. Whilst preparing him for School over the summer it was one of the signs we showed him and he did do it back to us to show that he could and that he understood but, he never used it spontaneously.

During a walk home from school last week, one of the practitioners from his  old nursery walked past us and said hello to Bruiser and asked how he was enjoying his new school. As we walked away he turned to me and signed ‘teacher old school’ perfectly. Since that moment on he’s used it every day when sharing what he has done at school that morning.

I originally blogged this post back in September, last year. Since then though, role play have become a big part of Bruisers play therapy. Although me and Wriggler have played schools, last week was the first time that Bruiser had wanted to join in and he asked Wriggler to play teachers with him. He was quite happy to sit back and let his brother be the teacher. But one evening he asked me to play with him and he wanted to be the teacher. It was lovely to share that moment with him, as brief as it was. Bruiser read his new book to me and the ‘class’. (the way he crossed his leg did make me chuckle though and subsequently, he put me on time-out!)

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TEACHER

TEACHER

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Bruiser signing and saying 'Teacher'

Bruiser signing and saying ‘Teacher’ (back in sept 2013)

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Sign/Symbol used with the kind permission of the © The Makaton Charity 2012

For any help or advice in respect of Makaton, please contact the Makaton Charity directly.

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MAKATON MONDAY

Makaton Monday ~ Supermarket

Wriggler loves role play. I have so many memories from when he was younger especially of playing shop keepers, mummy and daddys, doctors etc. I’ve missed that interaction with Bruiser. Its only very recently that he has wanted to ‘play’.

Bruiser loves to copy Wrigglers role play and he seems to enjoy it, providing it all goes his way and everyone does what he wants!

Role play and turn taking has been a big part of Bruisers play therapy of late. It has not been easy-going at all. At times its been unbearable. However, after about ten times of turn taking Bruiser kind of grasps it and can play quite happily without any intervention but, he is easily distracted and he doesn’t like waiting for his turn all that much. When we change activity though, he doesn’t remember to turn take and so it starts all over again.

Playing shop keepers is a great fun way for Bruiser to engage in role play and turn taking as its usually very quick turns and he gets a lot of them. This is also a great opportunity to use the signs he knows ie shop, money, various food items etc and also add to his ever-expanding ‘signabulary’, supermarket being one of them! It also helps him remember that he needs to use his manners in these social situations ie please and thank you.

‘Supermarket’ is a great sign that you can tailor to your specific need. Instead of saying supermarket as you sign it, you can say the shop ie tesco, morrisons etc.

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supermarket

SUPERMARKET

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supermarket

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Sign/Symbol used with the kind permission of the © The Makaton Charity 2012

For any help or advice in respect of Makaton, please contact the Makaton Charity directly.

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MAKATON MONDAY

Makaton Monday ~ Beautiful / Delicious

I love this sign. I almost feel Italian when I use it 🙂

Bruiser likes this sign too. He loves to tell me that the flowers look beautiful or the tress and the clouds when we walk home from school. He even tells me that I look beautiful when I don’t tie up my hair or when I have my nails done.

Recently Bruiser has been trying to tell us he likes food. He tries to say delicious but it sounds something like ‘wewishious’. It isn’t very clear and anyone who doesn’t know the sound struggles to get what he’s saying which results in a lot of frustration for Bruiser. We have chosen this sign for ‘Beautiful’ for him use to tell us food is delicious. He’s taken to it very well. Only last week he told me his milkshake was delicious, over and over again! 🙂

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BEAUTIFUL

BEAUTIFUL

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Bruiser signing ‘Beautiful’

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Sign/Symbol used with the kind permission of the © The Makaton Charity 2012

For any help or advice in respect of Makaton, please contact the Makaton Charity directly.

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MAKATON MONDAY

Makaton Monday ~ Cat

Bruiser loves animals to look at in books, on TV and even behind the fences at the local farms. Being up close though is something different all together.

I’ve previously blogged about his love of dogs, puppy’s to be precise. The small, cute and cuddly ones; nothing big, in your face or overly fussy. Well, he also likes Cats. A LOT!! Prioviding of course they play by his rules; nothing in your face or overly fussy! They bring out a different side to him we very rarely see. He interacts with it, like we do with each other. He uses them to interact with other people. They seem to have a huge calming effect on him. We don’t get meltdowns, he doesn’t get anxious. He smiles a lot!!

At his Auntie’s house at the weekend he played almost non stop with their cat. Chasing it around, talking to it, stroking it and cuddling up with it by the end of the day. I know I took him a little by surprise when I plonked the cat in his lap, but before he had chance to freak out he was already liking it. He even showed the cat how to sign ‘cat’ 😉

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CAT

CAT

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Bruiser signing 'CAT'

Bruiser signing ‘CAT’

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Sign/Symbol used with the kind permission of the © The Makaton Charity 2012

For any help or advice in respect of Makaton, please contact the Makaton Charity directly.

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MAKATON MONDAY

Makaton Monday ~ Four

Happy 4th Birthday to my little Bruiser.

Just when we had Bruiser understanding that he was three and could sign and say it, he has another birthday.

Like Christmas, this was the first birthday where he was really aware of what was happening. He knew that he was changing age, we prepared him well in advance with signs and visual aids and I think the novelty of it made this okay for him to start with. He also knew that the birthday fairies would come and leave him some presents and balloons. Wriggler told him all about this part. Wriggler also helped him choose a cake design that he wanted. This was obvious to anyone that knew him though that it would be Octonauts themed given his obsession with the cartoon. He knew that he was going to have a party with his school friends too. All the preparation was well planned and although he struggled to deal with the excitement and the build up, we had a lot of fair few meltdowns along the way, it all went quite smoothly. (even the cake that I made him!)

He had a blast on the day and spent it playing with his new toys… Octonauts and Cars, while dressed as Captain Barnacles!!

As for his party, we deliberated for a while about whether to have a party for him. He hates social occasions and hates being the focus of attention. But, he loved the play area we booked (which was with exclusive use for just us). He was happy as his friends arrived and happy for them to join in but he kept himself to himself and played on his own, right down to party tea time where he sat on his own away from the table of 15 friends. Even cake time was spent hiding in his Daddys arms as everyone sang to him. He didn’t like the attention and wanted to hide away from it all. However, he knew the party was for him, he was aware that his friends were there for him and everyone had a great time so as far as we were concerned it was a result. He did ‘mingle’ slightly towards the end when the children played dead fishes and to include Bruiser, the hosts got him involved by handing out sweets to the children one by one as they moved.

The novelty has well and truly gone though now. He doesn’t seem to like the change from 3 to 4 and wants to be 3 again. We keep talking about how great it is to be 4 though and each day he comes home from nursery and sees his cards and banners that still deck the house, he keeps saying ‘me still bour!’ Im sure he will get there and accept the change soon.

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‘Four’ is a really easy to sign to learn. We have taught Bruiser to sign Birthday but bless him, his hands are all over. He can sign ‘day’ really well but when in corporated with ‘birth’  he gets all confused about where his hands need to be.

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FOUR

FOUR

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Sign/Symbol used with the kind permission of the © The Makaton Charity 2012

For any help or advice in respect of Makaton, please contact the Makaton Charity directly.

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MAKATON MONDAY

Makaton Monday ~ New

Happy New Year!!

I know its been a while since I blogged a Makaton Monday. If you read my post ‘Im Back‘ you’ll know that the last few weeks has been quite a stressful time for us as a family. Bruiser has really struggled to deal with his emotions and all the excitement in the run up to and over Christmas. He didn’t adjust well to the change of routine when school finished for the holidays. He’s struggling to adjust to the change of routine now he’s back at school again. Not forgetting all the social occasions that he hasn’t really enjoyed if im completely truthful. However, he has had a wonderful time in between all that. He’s especially enjoyed the Christmas Cake, Yule Log and all the Turkey!! 🙂

NEW!! It isn’t a ‘new’ sign but Bruiser has used it a LOT over the last few weeks, what with all the new toys, the new year and the new school term. He’s been learning new letters at school and coming home and showing me what they look like. He’s been telling me about some new friends that have started in his class after the new year and only this afternoon he has been telling me that the trees are growing new leaves inside their arms 🙂 

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new

NEW

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Sign/Symbol used with the kind permission of the © The Makaton Charity 2012

For any help or advice in respect of Makaton, please contact the Makaton Charity directly.

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MAKATON MONDAY

Makaton Monday ~ How Many (Sleeps)?

Its time of year again and I can well imagine that most children have asked THE question by now… How many sleeps is it till Christmas?

I have to admit that we’ve been in countdown for lasts few months! Wriggler gets soooooo excited and has done since he was Bruisers age (3). Bruiser on the other hand doesn’t really realise whats happening yet (we don’t think). We keep talking about it and mentioning that is Christmas soon. When he has seen toys in the shops and asks to take them home, we tell him we will put them on his christmas list. He’s shown his understanding of this very recently, we he sees toys he likes now, he says ‘me det it mismas?’.

Christmas preparations are taking place at school too, we’ve recently had a letter saying that Bruiser is going to be a sheep in his nativity. That I cannot wait to see 😀

Todays sign is relatively new to Bruiser. Although its one we use a lot when we are counting with him. It’s not one we have seen him use as yet. I hope that in the coming weeks with Wriggler now using it too, he will use it himself. He copies everything Wriggler does, and Wriggler asks EVERY DAY how many sleeps it is to christmas.

The question I have for the Makaton Charity is; which sign would be the most appropriate to use for ‘sleeps’? ‘To Sleep’ ‘Day’ ‘Night’ or is there another sign?

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HOW MANY

HOW MANY

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Bruiser signing 'How Many'

Bruiser signing ‘How Many’

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Looking for some Christmas Signs? Visit the Makaton website where you can find all the Christmas Vocabulary and more, including The First Christmas Story and Christmas Cards.

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Sign/Symbol used with the kind permission of the © The Makaton Charity 2012

For any help or advice in respect of Makaton, please contact the Makaton Charity directly.

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MAKATON MONDAY

Makaton Monday ~ Cold

*shivers* ‘i dold, me weezin’ (its cold, im freezing) probably the most used sign and phrase from Bruiser this last week.

Seriously what did happen to the weather? I know its winter I get that but, it’s now forecast the worst winter for sixty years, allegedly! Whilst that sounds awful to most, we have actually got our fingers crossed for some serious snow. Since I mentioned other day to boys that it was going to snow soon, they’re waking up every day looking out of the window. Wriggler is asking how many sleeps till it snows. Bruiser as much as he does love the snow, the cold is too much of a sensory overload for him. It’s not just the cold, its wet too and he doesn’t like been wet, or anything he’s wearing being wet and then there is the wind. I’m hoping that when he has his sensory profiling done next month and he then starts with some Occupational Therapy that he might start to learn to like it a little more.

What I like about this sign is that you do it without realising. Everyone does. It’s so easy to learn. Bruiser is quite comical when he signs ‘Cold’ because his whole body does a little shakey jig when he does it. I’m going to have to capture it on video!!

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cold

COLD

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Bruiser signing 'dold' (COLD)

Bruiser signing ‘dold’ (COLD)

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Sign/Symbol used with the kind permission of the © The Makaton Charity 2012

For any help or advice in respect of Makaton, please contact the Makaton Charity directly.

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MAKATON MONDAY

Makaton Monday ~ Shop

I love this sign, it goes back almost 18 months. It was one of the first signs we ever taught Bruiser and one of the first that he ever used.

Bruiser loves going to the ‘adops’ (shops). He loves to look at the toys. He also likes to help me shop. He loves to help find what I need on the shelves, in turn that helps me keep him distracted on those difficult days.

It was only yesterday though, he’s started wanting to play shops! (another first!) Thank you to Mr Tumble again. During yesterdays airing of the Something Special Out & About programme, Justin was pretending to be a shop keeper. Bruiser was glued to the TV from start to finish. Immediately after it finished he asked me to get Wrigglers ‘adop’ out. For an hour we then pretended to play shop keepers taking turns to be the shopper and the keeper. I could propably count on one hand how many times Bruiser has pretend played like that in his whole life so it was really lovely to share that time with Bruiser.

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SHOP

SHOP

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Bruiser signing 'adop' (Shop)

Bruiser signing ‘adop’ (Shop)

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Sign/Symbol used with the kind permission of the © The Makaton Charity 2012

For any help or advice in respect of Makaton, please contact the Makaton Charity directly.

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MAKATON MONDAY

Makaton Monday ~ Wind

What a great sign for today!! Bruiser gave me the idea yesterday when we took the boys to see my Dad. We were talking about the storm that was forecast and Bruiser joined in and started signing wind.

It’s probably a good thing that it is in fact the school holidays today and Bruiser doesn’t have to go outside. He doesn’t like the wind at all. He dislikes like the feel of it on his face, he hates the sound it makes on his ears. He can’t even bare to have to the windows open when you are travelling in the car for the same reasons. He screams at you ‘tooo indee mumee, tooo indee’ (too windy mummy, too windy).

So today we’ll be watching the elements on the TV from the comfort of our room. We appear to have gotten away with the brunt of the storm. There isn’t much to see from the window. It’s quite calm here, just very wet! The boys, Wriggler especially are quite concerned about the people who live down south. I don’t think they’ve ever seen trees been ripped out of the ground, or power lines down leaving homes without electric. They are in awe of the images of the sea battering the coast with huge waves while they get their head round wind speeds going faster than cars can go on the motorway! 😀

Hope you are all warm, dry and safe!

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WIND

WIND

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Bruiser signing 'Wind'

Bruiser signing and saying ‘Indee’ (Windy)

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Sign/Symbol used with the kind permission of the © The Makaton Charity 2012

For any help or advice in respect of Makaton, please contact the Makaton Charity directly.

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MAKATON MONDAY

Makaton Monday ~ Tree

Last week I went to watch my little Bruiser take part in his first ever Harvest Festival at pre-school.

I knew when Bruiser started pointing out the colours of the leaves on the trees and saying ‘datum’ (Autumn) that they must have been preparing for it at school. I can remember so fondly when Wriggler was at this stage only a few years ago, he was coming home singing all the songs like ‘Autumn Leaves’ and ‘Big Red Combine Harvester’. But, I knew I wasnt going to get that with Bruiser as he doesn’t sing. He likes singing and signing his favorite nursery rhymes but only as part of a sing-song session, he doesn’t do it randomly when he’s playing or anything like what Wriggler did. Completely out of the blue though about two weeks ago he was driving his toy car up the cupboards in the kitchen and he quietly sang ‘eve fawin down eve fawin down’ (leaves falling down leaves falling down), I knew straight away what he’d said, it was a line from the song Autumn Leaves. It melted my heart, I never thought id hear him sing like that. I asked him to sing it again for me but he refused and signed that he wasnt singing.

When I spoke with his teacher about it she advised that they were indeed singing Autumn Leaves and Bruiser had been showing them the signs for the colours red, brown, yellow, orange and green. They were planning to incorporate the signs into the song. Bruiser was going to be the tree.

Although Bruiser refused to sing again at home, me and Wriggler practiced the songs with him hoping that he would, Wriggler did manage to get him singing and signing the chorus to Big Red Combine Harvester 🙂

Watching him take part in the Harvest Festival was quite emotional. He saw me and his Daddy in the audience but he refused to acknowledge us or wave and didn’t seem even slightly excited that we were there. Whilst thats not unusual, I think he was overwhelmed by all the parents watching. He did do some signing and singing during some of the performance. It was lovely to see the whole class signing away to the songs though. It was great that they had incorporated the signs and made Bruiser feel involved. I know that Bruiser enjoyed it thoroughly because he couldnt stop talking about it when we got home.

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Bruiser at his Harvest Festival

Bruiser at his Harvest Festival

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TREE

TREE

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Bruiser signing 'Tree'

Bruiser signing ‘Tree’

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Sign/Symbol used with the kind permission of the © The Makaton Charity 2012

For any help or advice in respect of Makaton, please contact the Makaton Charity directly.

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MAKATON MONDAY

  • You can download some Harvest Festival signs from the Makaton website by following this link

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Linking  up with Small Steps Amazing Achievements and #MagicMoments

Ethans Escapades

Makaton Monday ~ Friend

Bruiser is really enjoying school, FACT!! He does take some time to separate from me and this gets him rather distressed some days but he’s getting better. He’s got a favorite adult he likes to go to now and she is just brilliant with him.

His teacher tells me he is doing really well too. He signs lots and his verbal communication is coming along great and he’s doing  lots of talking. This is great for Bruiser, he obviously feels confident enough to sign and talk with the adults in his setting even so early on.

I remember seeing the look on the practitioners face in the last TAC meeting we had when we discussed his transition into pre-school when she discovered his ‘signabulary’ consisted of over 500 signs!! She was Makaton trained but felt that she was going to need to brush up on it over the summer ready to work with him. Whatever preparation they did at their end though to help Bruiser’s transition it’s worked very well!

Bruiser has even started to make a few friends. I say friends ‘hesitantly’ because these aren’t go to children that he instantly just got along with. Bruiser doesn’t interact like that. Whilst he does occasionally play alongside other children in pre-school, it’s a couple of children on the walk home that he is slowly building little friendships with.  It took a few weeks, but they now ride their scooters together, they play hide and seek in the cemetery, they run around together. He doesnt really talk to them yet but, you can see that he wants to, you can see it in his face and his body language. I’m hoping that as his confidence around other children grows his ability to interact with them will too. One step at a time though!

Last week after we’d left his friends and made our way to our house, he turned to me and signed that they were his friends.  It was someting that I never expected to hear him say, it brough tears to my eyes.

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FRIEND

FRIEND

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Bruiser signing 'Friend'

Bruiser signing ‘Friend’

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Sign/Symbol used with the kind permission of the © The Makaton Charity 2012

For any help or advice in respect of Makaton, please contact the Makaton Charity directly.

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MAKATON MONDAY