20th December 2016 – Hospital team gains award for helping children struggling to communicate.
Airedale Hospital’s Child Development Centre is officially ‘Makaton friendly’ – the team who run it have just gained recognition from the charity promoting the languageprogramme
A team of 25 staff across the trust including paediatricians, speech and language therapists, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, and therapy support staff use Makaton to communicate with children and young people who visit the centre and in their homes and school settings.
It is a language programme using signs, gestures and picture symbols which helps people who are struggling to communicate. These could be children or adults with cerebral palsy, autism, developmental conditions such as downs syndrome who need extra help expressing their needs and with their social development. It is designed to support spoken language and the signs and symbols are used with speech, in spoken word order.
Kate Tole, senior specialist speech and language therapist at Airedale Hospital, is a licenced Makaton tutor and leads courses for the parents of children with communication problems, and school or nursery support staff over four half days.
Alison Rohatynskyj,children’s therapy manager and speech and language therapy professional lead at Airedale NHS Foundation Trust, said: “We are delighted to have been recognised officially by the Makaton charity, especially as not many NHS providers have yet been given this accreditation.
“It is really helpful for children who don’t speak very clearly or have difficulties speaking at an early stage of their development
“We need to make sure that we continue to use it at every opportunity and encourage special schools and parents that we work with to be ‘Makaton Friendly.”
For more information about Makaton visit: https://www.makaton.org/aboutMakaton/