Margaret has fun at Sing and Sign class
A Hamilton-based Sing and Sign class welcomed Central Scotland MSP Margaret Mitchell to their group.
The politician joined Amanda Mcdonald, who heads up the Lanarkshire and Glasgow South branch of the parent and baby class, at the Red Burn Farm.
Mrs Mitchell got to sit in with a group of eager toddlers and their parents as Amanda helped them to learn new ways of communication.
Sing and Sign helps foster communication between babies and parents, before a baby would typically learn to talk, allowing parents to better understand their little ones.
A baby may already communicate by waving, pointing or clapping their hands, so Sing and Sign expands upon that pre-existing vocabulary and allows babies to say when they are, for example, hungry or tired.
Amanda, with the help of her class mascot Jessie Cat, teaches her keen students these new skills through a variety of songs.
Conservative MSP Mrs Mitchell, said:“i was thoroughly impressed by the talent on display when I visited the Sing and Sign class.
“Amanda and her students were fantastic and opened my eyes to a whole new skill set.
“Not only is Sing and Sign great fun, but it also teaches babies and parents how to better communicate with each other when speech is not fully developed. While Sing and Sign can be a great way for parents and babies to communicate, the skills gained may act as a precursor to non-verbal speech in later life.
“Signing may be used by, for example, a person with a hearing impairment or other condition which may limit their ability to communicate verbally.
“I was honoured to be able to attend the Stage 2 Sing and Sign class, but it’s a shame that there is no option beyond this as it has clear potential beyond babies of this age.
“Parents who attend Sing and Sign are of the opinion that their child learns to talk earlier as a result.
“Babies also experience less frustration as they are able to express themselves and be understood by their parents.
“I was particularly heartened to hear that one little girl was able to sign to her parents to tell them that she was in pain.
“The subsequent doctor’s appointment found an underlying issue and it was successfully treated.
“A signing system such as the one used at Sing and Sign, or the more common Makaton, could be used as part of the curriculum and even as a precursor to British Sign Language.
“Overall, Sing and Sign leads with exciting new possibilities in communication.”