Lámh supports communication - between parents and child, between siblings, between friends. It can be a stepping stone to communicating with the world. Lámh is a manual sign system used by children and adults with intellectual disability and communication needs in Ireland.
Lámh Encourages Eye Contact
Using Lámh encourages eye contact and attention to movement. These are skills that are important for speech development.
Using sign assists people to develop vocabulary and language skills. They have a means to try out and practice how language works.
Many children and adults with communication needs can understand much more than they can express verbally. Signing can provide a means of taking part in conversation.
Motivates the Person to Try Out New Words
If their speech is unclear or limited, the person who uses Lámh may be more easily understood when they use signs. When you are understood you are delighted to realise you have been successful and are more likely to keep on trying - to try new words and say more!
Promotes Attention to Movements
Using gestures and making signs comes earlier for many children than saying the corresponding word. For many people using Lámh, it is easier to recognise and make gestures with their hands that it is for them to make speech sounds at first.
Lámh users may be more easily understood when they use signs with speech. When a person uses sign, the listener can have a better chance of understanding the message. Frustration is reduced when people are provided with a way of communicating.
Sign along with Deirdre on our Instagram page @lamhsign for #ChristmasReadWithLámh, Deirdre is reading 'All I want for Christmas' by Rachel Bright.
See below for a few much loved Christmas songs with lyrics to help you to sign and sing along!
Watch Lámheen sing and sign...
Why not use Lámh in your community?
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.
"Lámh Clon" is a short film promoting the town of Clonakilty, Co. Cork. The film features 26 people supported by Cope Foundation in Clonakilty, and demonstrates various places of interest in the town.
The more people that know about Lámh signs the better! An inclusive choir or a sports club learning Lámh? Lámh is happy to support all those interested in developing projects using Lámh.