A TUTOR specialising in supporting children who struggle to communicate has held a workshop allowing entertainers to learn new skills.

Amanda Glennon is a Makaton tutor whose daughter Alice uses the language programme of signs and symbols to help her communicate.

Makaton is designed to support spoken language development, with symbols used alongside speech.

While Amanda usually trains education professionals and parents, this week saw her branch out to train children’s performers.

She said: “We had a range of children’s party entertainers including DJs, balloon modellers and face-painters. The session taught them some basic signs and symbols for everyday communication and specific party vocabulary.

“I am hoping its success can be shared and this training will be made available by other Makaton tutors across the UK.”

The session, held at the Cheshire Centre for Independent Living on Monday, followed on from a pre-Christmas event training Santas.

Amanda’s latest session follows on from her nephew’s efforts.

She said: “My 15-year-old nephew Jake is a children’s entertainer and runs DJ events under the name ‘DJ Jay’. He inspired me to run a training session specifically for party entertainers.

“He has seen first hand the barriers Alice has to joining in, and so wants to help her and others be included.

“His parties are now accredited by The Makaton Charity as Makaton-friendly – he is the youngest and only DJ in the UK to have achieved this.”

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