SUNFLOWERS are a big thing for a green-fingered Lillington youngster.
Albert Thomas suffers from a speech disability called Verbal Dyspraxia which affects his ability to talk and be understood.
To communicate his mum Rosa decided to teach him Makaton sign language – which supports how a conversation would usually flow through speech, signs and symbols.
The first word Rosa ever taught Albert was ‘sunflowers’.
And now flowers planted by the pair tower over him – much to the four-year-old’s delight.
Rosa told the Observer: “I learnt to sign and then taught him how to do it. Now he communicates using sign language.
“Albert will need daily intensive speech therapy to improve and hopefully will eventually find his words.
“The sunflowers we planted this year are now really tall in our garden, which is special to us both because the first sign I ever taught him was for ‘sunflowers’”
When Albert starts at Lillington Primary School later this year he will receive speech therapy to help his condition.
Rosa is also hopeful the school will start using Makaton sign language in the classroom to help pupils with similar conditions.
And as she found getting support so difficult, the mum-of-one now plans to start her own group for parents and carers of children suffering from speech disorders.
She said: “I haven’t found any such group in Leamington so far and it can feel quite isolating when you feel you have no outside support.
“I would love any parents or carers of those who have speech disorders to contact me.”
Email Rosa at email@example.com to find out more.