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Family Sign Language (FSL)
New offering for Learning Futures
  • Family Sign Language is offered to all families of early identified d/Deaf children. 
  • It is a bespoke intervention tool which puts the needs of the family at the heart of what we do. 
  • The Service starts to work with families through Newborn Hearing Screening Programme (NHSP) and some babies are as young as two weeks old when we start to work with families. 
  • A FSL practitioner is able to work with the baby/child, the family and the extended family to develop a communication method using British Sign Language (BSL). 
  • It differs from learning an accredited BSL course as it is always tailored around the family routines.
  • Intervention is for 6 weeks which is then reviewed. 
  • Quite often, families need a ‘break’ after six weeks but then ask for more intervention at a later date.  It’s quite emotional to see a baby babble using sign!  

The Service currently has three practitioners trained to deliver FSL.

  1. FSL can, and usually does, make all the difference when it comes to communication.
  2. FSL bridges the gap. Some families are in denial for a while and ask, ‘Why should I talk to my baby, he cannot hear me’.  All family members can participate. Sometimes friends attend the sessions and this is a great release for parents as it ensures somebody other than the family can communicate using sign.
  3. FSL is an intervention tool; not all d/Deaf babies go on to use BSL sign. When delivered to an early years setting, all children have benefitted, not just our d/Deaf children. It is a great communication tool for all involved.

This service is classed as our Support Service, so is part of our free statutory offer in supporting d/Deaf CYP.

Prices will be developed during the Autumn Term.
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