Canaan Barrie 'on body' Sign System

pdf The full text of the book can now be downloaded from this website along with the sign illustrations.




Movement Interaction

This approach is based on the principles of early interaction between a parent and their infant. However the aim is not to replicate this but to use the same method and style.


The starting point is always the movement, vocalisation or gesture of the person with complex support needs. Their partner will respond to and develop their initiative into two-way communicative exchanges.


Patience and close observation are needed to ensure that the person with complex support needs is given time and that their partner is following rather than leading.


It is necessary to create an environment that is as quiet as possible so that the pair can concentrate on each other without distraction. In this way the person with complex support needs begins to realise that they can influence the world around them and that their feelings are understood.