Gestures, sign and hand signals
There are natural hand gestures that we all use to communicate, however, there are also many formal signed systems employed around the world whereby in Australia this includes:
Makaton Sign Language: which is a signed system which is modified and adapted for individuals who demonstrate cognitive or intellectual disability. It is adapted from the Australasia Sign Language and is presented in stages and targets the signs that would be most frequently necessary in an individuals life to make the most impact.
Australasian Sign could be considered your formal sign language that was developed in close relationship with formal English which allows for building of sentences using correct grammar and syntax. SO what this means is that it is signed perfect English that includes all those “functor” words such a “the”, “a”, “is”, “are”, “will”, “have” and also grammatical markers such as past verb tense “-ed”, present verb tense “-ing”.
Auslan which has increased in popularity over the years does not tend to hold the stable sentence structure or syntax as seen in formal speech and was developed for the deaf population. So sentences can be expressive units of information but may not necessarily have the sentence structure that we are familiar with.
If you are looking for support with this click on the links to sign language to learn more and gain ideas for programs that can assist you.
If you are wanting to learn new signs to teach to your family member you can try www.signplanet.com
You can also download the app onto your ipad or tablet Auslan Tutor being a free app to help to learn in a more portable way. This app is more limited in the vocabulary diversity than www.signplanet.com.