Hello and welcome to my first blog.
Let me tell you how I came to be writing about the Makaton Language Programme today.
I never really knew what I wanted to be when I left school. I loved languages and enjoyed studying French, German, Italian and Spanish. Our Careers lady at school did not encourage this. I never found out why. At one point, I decided I would be a Radiographer, because I saw it in a film, and it looked cool. But science was never a strong point with me, and I was actually asked (very nicely) to give up my ‘O’ Level Science, as there was no hope of me passing it! Cooking came quite naturally, so it just happened that I followed my mother’s footsteps and went into catering. Fast forward twelve years, through employment in a wide range of hotel and catering settings, to being married with four young children. I took up Childminding.
As part of my registered Childminder role, I became a Day Carer for children on the At-Risk register. I worked with vulnerable families, supporting them to care for their young children. One family in particular, was the key to my passion for the Makaton Language programme. I had been caring for the children for a couple of years. During this period, the two-year-old boy became deaf as a result of sudden emotional family trauma. He developed his own way of communication, a mixture of signs and gestures. I was hooked. So impressed by his determination to make himself understood (his speech had become affected by his loss of hearing), I wanted to learn more. The family moved away, and I decided to apply for a position in a Special School. This was the Lightbulb moment that people talk about. I knew straight way that this is what I wanted to do. Working with children from the ages of 3 to 19, with a wide range of physical and learning difficulties was for me.
An application form was passed around school, asking if anyone was interested in going on a Makaton Foundation Workshop. Lots of people wanted to go, I applied and kept my fingers crossed. I was delighted to be chosen and found the course fun, fascinating and engaging. I wanted to learn more. The following year, my colleague and I were fortunate enough to be allowed to attend the Enhanced Workshop. Wow. Even better!
In future blogs, I will talk about my journey; how I implemented my Makaton learning in school, becoming a registered Makaton Tutor, and how I am now a self-employed Makaton tutor.
Thank you for reading.