Free Makaton Resources
Makaton Signing is another alternative method of communication, or interim between non-verbal to speaking. It is very often used in conjunction with visual resources and my little boy has recently started to use some signs.
Unfortunately if you are in an area that doesn't seem to have a Makaton Club/or Course then you are going to struggle to find Makaton Signs online for free, and resources that will help you out.
Many Libraries have a fair range of official Makaton products that you can use to teach your child, and yourself, signs. These are all free, or a very small charge, as long as you don't lose or break anything.
The website: http://www.totalcommunication.org.uk/makaton-signing.html has got quite a wide selection of basic signs to get you started. It's in video format and a very, very good website. They also sell CDs with more basic signs, intermediate and advanced, at a very reasonable price.
Don't go jumping in too quickly though, with my little boy, he would not learn any signs what so ever until very recently. I have worked on his eye contact over a few months and slowly this has led to us being able to teach him a few signs. Try to catch them at a good moment, when they are willing to engage, for Cayden this is after tea and not long until bedtime. Don't forget you can use the youtube video on Eye Contact Resource page to help improve this.
If you get started using that website, or any other resources you already have then you may be interested in using my basic tracker. I created this just to print off and follow Cayden's progress. The words are all words featured on the total communication site (the link above) so are a good starting point. The tracker features columns for:
"Word" - The word!
"Known" - More for your advantage, do you know and use the sign to your child?
"Repeated" - Does your child repeat the sign back at you?
"Aided" - Will your child do the sign without seeing you do it, but with a little encouragement, i.e. "Do the sign for Mummy." or saying the word (ie. More).
"Own" - When your child uses the sign almost always unaided, of their own back, when making a request or comment.
The link to the sheet - if you want to print one off, is here.
You might want to put dates, you might want to put Yes/No, or just a tick. It doesn't matter how you track, but it is very useful to monitor progress so you can see just how well your little one is doing.