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Key Word Signing

Key Word Signing is a means of enhancing communication. Just as the name suggests, you sign the most important or ‘key words’, in your message. The signs used are from Auslan, the Australian official sign language.

Who is it for?

Key Word Signing (KWS) is for anyone who is having a few challenges communicating through speech alone. It is a fantastic strategy to use with children and adults and it is simple to learn. Those who may benefit from KWS include:

  1. Children who are developing speech and language

  2. Children and adults who are experiencing some hearing difficulties

  3. Adults and children who have difficulties producing speech

  4. Children and adults who have difficulties with comprehension

How does KWS help?

  1. KWS is NEVER a replacement for speech. It takes the pressure off ‘producing speech’ and enables the user to get their message across more clearly.

  2. Thoughts, ideas, feelings, needs and wants can all be expressed without the fear of being misunderstood.

  3. It assists the ‘listener’ in understanding what is said. The signs give a visual cue to help them understand and remember what is communicated.

  4. It allows the user to develop their language by increasing their expressive vocabulary and communicating in longer sentences than speech alone would allow.

  5. KWS can help stop the frustration of communication of both the ‘speaker’ and ‘listener’

A fear that many parents have is that KWS will prevent their child from learning to talk. KWS is NEVER a stand-alone communication system. It is not designed to replace speech rather it is used to enhance speech. Taking the pressure off verbal communication allows the child opportunities to expand their communication and develop their expressive language. When children are no longer frustrated with their speech, they are free to develop language. As language expands, new speech skills will often develop.

Newcastle Speech Pathology provides a professional, personalized approach to your child’s communication needs. Contact us today to discuss how we can assist your child’s development.

Written by Alison Speech Pathologist Newcastle Speech Pathology

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