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Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
Sing and Say

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Communication is for everyone

Every person can communicate.

Children are all individuals in the way they communicate, and each child develops communication at their own rate. Some children might use signs or symbols to communicate, while others may use gestures or body language.

Communicating is more than talking and listening. Even the youngest baby will be communicating, using their body to send you messages. Many babies will begin to show they are hungry by chewing their fist or turning their face towards a soft object and trying to suck it.

Clearly they can't speak and tell you they are hungry, but they are giving signs that there is something they need, using the movements that they can make.

Older children who struggle to use verbal (spoken) language may also use any movements they are able to control to tell you things. Pointing or waving a hand towards something they want; looking towards an object; putting their hand to their mouth to indicate hunger or food. These are all potentially meaningful gestures that can be used to communicate.

You will know your child best, and may be able to understand lots of things they are telling you, even if they do not say it with words.

Sing and Say is about helping your child develop at their own unique rate and pace, to learn to communicate to the best of their ability.

iBook and DVD

This book is freely available to patients accessing the Oxford Craniofacial Unit based on clinical need. If you would like to order a hard copy, please use the form at the link below.

Sing and Say - Encouraging Children's Communications Development Through Music and Play (book cover)

Sing and Say - Encouraging Children's Communications Development Through Music and Play (pdf, 1.1 MB)

The Sing and Say book and DVD provide parents with important information about how they can encourage their child's communication through music and play in the home environment.

Featuring top tips for communicating with babies and toddlers, original animations, instructional videos and songs.

Please note: the DVD is optimised for play in the UK region.

Order the book and/or DVD here