Lámh in Schools

When school staff and other pupils become familiar with Lámh signs and use some signs themselves, the child who is using Lámh will have the opportunity to participate in school life from the start.

Children who use Lámh attend mainstream and special schools. When a Lámh user is starting at school, the school can:

  1. Link with parents to find out more about their child's Lámh use, what signs he/she is using,
  2. Parents can show some Lámh signs to key staff members,
  3. Link with the Speech & Language Therapist for advice and support around the child's Lamh use,
  4. Ask the Speech & Language Therapist about Lámh training for staff,
  5. Link with the Special Education Support Service (SESS) about Lámh training for Teachers,
  6. Link with the local Education Centre about Lámh training for SNAs,
  7. OR email the Lámh Development Office info@lamh.org about training,
  8. Take a look at the Lámh Online Shop for the Lámh-a-Song DVD and Lámh Apps (Lámh Sign Posters coming soon).

School staff can talk to the Lámh user’s family as well as their speech and language therapist about the Lámh signs that the child is using, and which signs they might learn first. The child who uses Lámh will have already have a communication programme or plan in place, which will provide useful guidance to those now supporting them in school. Families will be experienced in using the child’s communication system, and will play a key role in providing initial and ongoing information to SNAs, teachers and others.

Along with school staff members, peers are also communication partners and can be supported to learn about their classmate’s communication system. They are often enthusiastic signers as well as being interested in learning about Lámh. Sign users are more likely to use sign with someone they have seen signing. See the Using Lámh at School page for more.

The most effective way to use signs is to include them in day-to-day activities and routines. Using Lámh in context also ensures that the signs being used are relevant and will support the child’s communication. So you could:

  • Use signs in natural contexts e.g. circle time or when giving instructions to the class
  • Offer opportunities for making choices, to encourage sign use e.g. red crayon or blue
  • Introduce topics of conversation that will be of interest to the child.

Some schools use the Lámh-a-Song DVD or the Lámh Time App in classroom activities so that Lámh users and their peers can practice and use signs in a fun way.