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Last Updated: Friday, 20 July 2007, 06:22 GMT 07:22 UK
School all signed up to help Ryan
Ryan Hounsome with friends at The Mead Infants School
Ryan Hounsome's school friends have all learnt sign language
Pupils, staff and even parents at a Pembrokeshire school have learnt sign language to make a profoundly deaf boy's life a little easier.

Adults and children at The Mead Infants School in Milford Haven have been taking classes so they can communicate with seven-year-old Ryan Hounsome.

His mother Kate said the effort made by all had made "such a difference" to her son's day-to-day schooling.

"This is just great for Ryan - everyone has been fantastic," she said.

Ryan was profoundly deaf at birth and was taught to sign from the age of two.

When the teachers at the school knew Ryan was joining them, every member of staff attended lunchtime signing courses.

Six of them completed the more advanced British Sign Language (BSL) Stage One course at Pembrokeshire College.

Meanwhile, various groups of children also took regular courses and some of their parents joined in.

Pupils at the school received their certificates this week.

This week the youngsters were presented with certificates of achievement by Pembrokeshire Council.

Mrs Hounsome said: "Before, the children would shout at him thinking he might be able to hear them.

"Now they know to tap him on the shoulder and use sign language.

"It's made such a difference - everyone at the school has been fantastic."

The council's advisory teacher for hearing impaired children, Sue James, said she plans to run similar classes at Ryan's next school - Milford Haven Juniors.

"In readiness of him joining, staff and pupils there are to begin basic training in September," she said.


SEE ALSO
Movie star's sign language appeal
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06 Feb 06 |  South East Wales

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